Children Of Immigrants
- By Sam George
- Published 06/26/2008
Sam George is the Executive Director of PARIVAR International - a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America and to the Asian Indian community worldwide. Parivar means family in many Indian languages. Sam George also serves as one of the founding directors of Urban India Ministries
www.UrbanIndia.org Sam George and his wife, Mary have spoken at premarital and family events in many countries. They are parents of two boys and make their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation: Ministry to the Americanized Asian Indians." Check out this website www.CoconutGeneration.com Coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) is a metaphor for the Americanized Asian Indians. Sam George can be reached at email@example.com
I read his distrubing story on children of immigrants in Chicago Tribune. Most of the stories covered were from lower socio-economic class and people south of the US border. But I concur with the struggles of immigrant children and see many similiar trend among Asian Indian community as well.
There is no doubt that immigrant life is hard. But life for the children is even harder. For the later it is social, psychological and spiritual. Being a adolescent has never been easy and it is harder now than ever has been. For immigrant communities, the challenges are multiplied. Need for stability at home and enduring relationship are key to navigating this section of the population into adulthood and responsible citizenry.
When home, church and the nation does not recognize these unique struggles of the next generation, it is tragic. No matter how much of success the immigrant generation are able to achieve,their legacy is short lived. We pay a heavy price thro their marginalization and self destructive behaviors.
Some may say it is not relevant to he Indian America community. We pride in our educational and economic achievement, not to mention our cultural pride. But we are seeing a rise in broken homes, diliquency, drug addiction and gang activities among the second generation of Indian in United States. Many of them come from very educated and successful homes.
When parents are busy pursuing their dreams, children often are neglected and abused in the hand of care givers, neighbors and other relatives. Immigrant parents sacrifice their children on the altar of cultural pride and material accumulationsucces in order to realize their American dreams. Children suffer from loneliness and insecurity, often resulting in confused sense of identity and dwarfed sense of esteem.
When bottom falls out and there are no flicker of hope, some have encounters with God and their life is dramatically transformed. More are falling thro the cracks. Will you stand in the gap?