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SUllllller Special '94

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WESIT WIND

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Equipment for the Future

A

CULTURAL

DIVERSITY

FORUM

MANKATO

STATE

UNIVERSITY

EastVVin~ VVestVVind

MSU Box 65, Mankato,

MN 56002-8400

(507) 389-2812

 

Editor

Vann Phan

Staff Writers

Victor Philips

Samurai Ph an

Cover Design

Mario Quintero

Photography

Victor

Philips

Duc Nguyen

Typesetters

Duc Nguyen

Vanna Nguyen

Contributors

Kris Haacke

Damisha

Walls

Eric Dollershell

Francisco 1. Gonzales

Noronirina

Andriantiana

Chanda Thammavongsa

Angi Montgomery

Tarsh'a

Jackson

Roslyn Harmon

Betsy Walton

Zainab Ali

East Wind, West Wind

An MSU Cultural Diversity Forum

Summer Special '94"

'Equipment for the Future'

TAB.LE OF CONTENTS

From the Editor

pg. i

Accomplishments

in Recruitment

and Retention

pg

1

Family Values, Latino Style

pg 2

Rape in Marriage:

What's

Really Going on?

pg

3

Poems by Noronirina

Andriantiana

pg 8

There Should Be More Programs like this PCSI

pg

8

Unveiling Islam

pg

10

What You Can't Miss

pg

13

To Maria and the Office of Multicultural

Affairs

pg

17

Picture News: Cultural Diversity Activities

pg 19-20

Profile: Gregorio Mendez-Ortega

pg 25

The Vietnamese

Society under Communism

pg 27

East Wind, West Wind News

pg 35

Welcome

Returning and New Students

pg 39

Acknowledgments

.inside back cover

Quist, to President Bill Clinton, all talk ofthe importance of the family and the need for solutions to the problems

that result in the loss of values and disintegration the family.

of

The media also in influences our perception of the

changes in family structure and values. TV shows

like

"Roseanne" portrays a somewhat dysfunctional two-

parent family, "Murphy Brown," a professional single

mother, and "Grace Under Fire," the problems blue-collar single mother, to name just a few.

of a

However, all these different media portrayals

and

discussions

among

political,

social

and

religious

leaders tend to focus mostly on the White/Anglo family. The problems and strengths of the family
I---~~_-------------------- structures among people of color are only discussed,

it seems, by other people of color. And if the media

and the mainstream

politicians

deal with our family

CROSS-CULTURAL

ISSUES

values, theirversion of the issue is only in the distorted context of crime and welfare.

By Francisco J. Gonzalez

Editor's Note: Since its Spring 1994 issue, East Wind,

West Wind has been presenting viewpoints

on some cross-

cultural issues or issues related

to values

that are

held in

high esteem

in other countries.

As Mankato

State

is

the

center

of

many

cultures

brought

in

by

thousands

of

international

students

from all over the world,

the column

may serve as a forum for writers who wish to present

their

viewpoints

on matters

concerning

values

they consider

worthy of being shared by people from other cultures.

East Wind, West Wind sincerely hopes that, through thfs column, the exchange of cultures among people of different backgrounds in our community could be carried on, and the ideal of cultural diversity will be served.

In this Summer Special '94 issue, Francisco Gonzales, a contributing writer for the MSU Cultural Diversity newsletter,

will be presenting Style."

his viewpoint on ""Family Values, Latino

In the last couple of years, a new term has entered the

American vocabulary:

Familyvalues.

Politicians of all

ideological orientations, from former Vice-President Dan Quayle and Minnesota's radical right leader Allan

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In the United States there are between 25 to 30 million Latinos, all sharing a basic language (Spanish), culture

and social organization.

The !irst

thing that must

be

pointed out is that the definition of "family" is different,

for Latinos, compared to white population.

The traditional white family is the "nuclear family," formed by a married couple and their children living in theirown house apart from other relatives. In contrast,

the traditional

Latino family

is the extended

family

formed

not only

by

the

married

couple

and their

children,

but also

by other

close

relatives,

all living

together.

These

relatives

are most frequently

the

parents or grandparents couple.

of the wife or husband

in the

There is also great respect for the elderly whose experience and knowledge are always sought as they

are an integral part of the decision-making

process in

the family.

The elderly also help to raise the children,

allowing both parents to work, and raise largerfamilies. Also, they transmit the culture and traditions to the

new generations in the process.

Latino children, like children in any other culture, are greatly cherished and loved by their family. Common to other cultures, but absent from White/American culture, are rites of passage, ceremonies or landmarks that signal the transformation of a child into an adult. For Latino girls, it is the "quinceanera" the celebration of her 15 years. This is an elaborate series of public events in which the young woman is officially introduced

to society as an adult.

Most "quinceaneras"

attend

a Mass or similar religious service, this followed by a dance and other festivities.

For boys,

there

is

no specific

ritual.

A

boy

is

generally considered a man when he attains some

 

community-defined

standard

for what

a

man

is

supposed to be. These standard vary according to

 

the social, geographical

an economic

background

of each community. For example, a boy can

"became" a man when he gets his driver's

licence

(if he lives in an urban

area), or

when he ventures

alone

into

the

sea

to

fish

(if

he belongs

to

a

fisherman's

family

that

lives

in

a small. coastal

 

town).

Religion is another very important value for Latinos.

 

For historical

reasons, most belong to the Roman

.

Gatholic

Church.

In

the

U.S., close

to

half

of

all

Catholics are Latinos.

The religion

practiced

by

Latinos, both Catholics and Protestants,

is based

on

a personal

relationship

with God.

The figure

of the

Virgin Mary is the vehicle

used by most to converse

with God.

In Mexico,

the Virgin

of Guadalupe

is

specially revered, and Mexicans ask her to intercede

before God so that he assists

them in their troubles.

despite all their attacks.

As they say in Los Angeles,

we Latinos

!"somos

un chingo,

y pronto seremos

mas"!.

Another crucial family value is that of "ganarse el pan

con el sudor de la frente" (earn your bread with

the

sweat of your brow), or working

for your living.

For

male heads of families,

it is specially

important

as

failure

to supp·ort your own family

is considered

a

disgrace, and the man be branded as an inadequate

parent. This is also why many Latinos, unable to find

work to feed

their families, migrate to the U.S., often

risking their lives in the process.

To conclude, the Latino community have strong "family values" based on a deep and long-standing cultural background that stretches for 500 years. The value of the extended family, the respectforthe elderly, a deep religious faith, a profound love for their children, and the importance of honest and hard work are all part of our common heritage.

Some factions of the so-called radical religious right in the United States, while claiming to work for the protectionH of. these same "family values", want to

destroy our distinctive

Latino culture, our Spanish

language

and

our

ethnic

pride,

by calling

it

"un-

American" and a "threatto traditional American values".

These people must understand that it is our culture that gives meaning to these values that they want to preserve. We cannot have one without the other, and we are determined to preserve our culture and values

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