Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm Over My Snit Now

My previous post had to do with one of the things that's happening to this country politically. One of my blogger friends expressed a very unique idea - what happened to patriotism? We seem to be more interested in multiculturalism and the fear of offending another ethnic group than love and devotion to the United States.

Yes, I know we all came from somewhere else, or at least our ancestors did. I'm third generation from Norway and Sweden. Ole is third generation from Finland and Germany. Why is it that our ancestors came here and wanted nothing more than to fit in and learn the ways of their new homeland. If they bought something new and it came with instructions (which it didn't back then) they would have been printed in English and, by golly, if they wanted to read them they learned English. They didn't expect the instructions to be written in Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish or German.

When my father started first grade he couldn't speak English. There was no ESL teacher back then - if he wanted to go on from first grade he had to learn English, which he did. It was difficult for him because Norwegian was still spoken at home at that time, but that gradually changed also as his parents integrated their way of life to the USA. But to the day he died he had a heavy Norwegian accent, even though he spoke English for 65 years following his promotion from 1st grade. Life was easier for my mother - her family spoke English at the time she was born. Although my little Granny still wrote all her letters in Swedish she spoke English also.

Now we're being invaded by other ethnic groups who want all the benefits and freedoms of the United States, but somehow still want to maintain their culture. I see nothing wrong with that - I still maintain many of my ancestral cultures, like eating lefse, although I refuse to eat lutefisk or even have it in my house. Maintain your culture, BUT don't force it on everyone else. That most definitely includes religion. I don't care who you believe in or if you believe in anyone/anything at all - that doesn't make your religion right and mine wrong. Nor should I have to do away with any public displays of my religion because it offends you. Your religion might offend me but in the USA that's one of the freedoms that we have - or at least I thought we had. It seems to be slowly disappearing.

Anyway, I've had my say - now I have to go start loading the RV.

Love Lena

7 comments:

Susan said...

Lena, you said it well. I was born into a German community in Iowa and when I started school, we had a kindergarten teacher that was bilingual and she taught us to speak English and to speak it correctly, but she also reinforced that we continue with our German language. So, it was German at home and English at school and that is how I became bilingual. If I move to France (what a dream that is), I would have to learn French and I would do so with much determination so that I could fit in and understand their country better. Should that not be expected in America? Yes, it should be, but my oh my, aren't we lenient? English, in America, should always be the first and most accepted language. But, of course, do not lose your native tongue. Just make that your second language in speaking.

Anonymous said...

At least you live in an area of the country where people speak English (I think?). I live in an area where Spanish is heard as often as English. I know people who have been here for two generations who still can not and will not learn English. They don't have to learn it. They have their television programs in Spanish. Signs are in English and Spanish.

My mother could speak only Norwegian when she entered kindergarten. My grandparents received a visit from the teacher who told them in no uncertain terms that she had to learn English or she could not come back to school. They then started speaking English at home but she still had a beautiful Norwegian accent. I wish she had taught me to speak the language. I learned a few phrases but since my dad spoke only English I guess she didn't think that was appropriate.

.....and I love lutefisk!! (but only at Christmas time)

harrietv said...

It's a funny thing, the way people handled difficulties then. (And that -- I don't know if it's a symptom of something else.)

My dad couldn't speak English when he started school either, although he was born in the United States. He learned, of course; he and his brothers were very good at languages. Only his children noticed some of the strange idioms that originated in the "old country."

In order to protect his children from ridicule, he insisted that only English be spoken to the children. We would not learn other languages until we got to high school. Yiddish was for adults, so the kids wouldn't know what they were talking about. My sister and I, as well as two of my kids, are just as good at learning languages; we just learned English first.

reading said...

The fact of speaking english is to try first & never hesitate in front of anyone. If you try then will power provide you the confidence of learning skills of new language . . what you need to have .
english courses in london

reading said...

Religion is nothing but it is one's faith in the supreme and eternal power. Education also has eternal facts which we should obey otherwise we will face problems. It helps us to share our experiences globally to conclude the right facts and information, for examlple if we say that touching the electric wire may harm you... there religion does not matter...and it is the fact and proved by your experience but without touching it safely and practically we donot understand the real fealings of the electric current..Expatriate

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