Immigrant communities cross the generational divide together

Immigrants tend to worry about their kids. After all, for many, that’s why they came to the United States. Will the opportunities be there? Will they fit in? Will they fit in too well and abandon their roots?

In a continuing unique collaboration with Chicago area ethnic news media, Immigrant Connect and the Community Media Workshop through its Chicago is the World project explored the relationships between immigrants and their children and discovered that immigrant communities are crossing the generational divide in ways that resonate for one another.

Nine ethnic media outlets collaborated on the project. They are Extra (Hispanic), the Polish Daily News, 4NewsMedia (Polish), Pinoy Newsmagazine (Philippine), Al Moustaqbal – Future newspaper (Arab), India Tribune, Korea Daily News, Fra Noi (Italian), Draugas – The Lituanian World-wide Daily, and Reklama (Russian).

Read the stories here:

Health made harder: How Latino families translate the system

  • Despite countless trips to the doctor, Carla Argueta doesn’t mind pitching in. She realizes she still has the support of her bilingual parents. “When I was younger I always felt really awkward and uncomfortable because I wasn’t sure I was translating right,” says Argueta, who is now 22. “I felt like I sounded stupid.”      [Published in Extra in Spanish and in English]

Dual citizenship gives new meaning to Italian Americans

  • Eager to connect with his roots, Michael Fricchione decided to join the 5,000 Italian Americans who apply each year for dual citizenship in the land of their forebears. Together, they are helping to redefine what it means to be an Italian in America.  [Published in Fra Noi]

For Korean-Americans, culture, too, is lost in translation

  • After three months of working as a potsticker cutter at Super H Mart, a popular Korean supermarket in Niles, this was Doug Lee’s last day of work and, for him, possibly the last time he would need to speak Korean. [Published in Korea Daily News]

Learning to be a woman in the Arab-American community

  • Though stereotypical understandings of Arab family dynamics emphasize male dominance, the testimonies of Arab-American women in Bridgeview, one of Chicago’s near southwest suburbs, bring to light the strong influence that women have on each other in defining their roles in life. [Published in Al Moustaqbal – Future newspaper]

Poland’s air tragedy hits Chicago’s Polish youth

  • Eleven-year-old Olivia Konieczny may not feel the same patriotic fervor toward Poland as her forefathers, but that doesn’t mean she can’t appreciate the significance of the recent plane crash in her own way. [Published in Polish in Polish Daily News and InformacjeUSA]

Filipinos turn to nursing homes for elder care

  • Traditionally, Filipino parents count on their children to care for them in their old age. But for Filipino elderly in the United States, where that’s less of the norm, what will become of them when they can no longer completely care for themselves has become a major concern. [Published in Pinoy Newsmagazine]

Reclaiming roots: Young Russian Americans find – and preserve – their identity

  • The fire was also an attack on Lifsha Tsetlin’s place – her family’s place. It was the first synagogue where her brother worked, the synagogue that guided her family in their first few years as immigrants, the synagogue of her childhood. [Published in Reklama]

Pursuing creativity, sustaining Indian culture

  • “It’s quiet in here! This is like telling-your-mom-you’re-not-going-to-medical-school quiet!” The audience howled. The joke had hit close to home where young South Asian adults feel their way through informing their parents of their intentions to pursue creative vocations instead of careers driven by math or science. [Published in India Tribune]

Youth engagement in the Lithuanian American community

  • Lithuanian-Americans have seen a transformation in cultural organizations from an urgent necessity in an international crisis to a tool that can be used to honor one’s heritage and give back. Beyond the bond of opposing occupation, Lithuanian American organizations have continued to grow and flourish through folk culture, sport, and religious groups.  [Published in Lithuanian in Draugas – The Lithuanian World-wide Daily]

The stories were released in early June 2010. Each ethnic media outlet carried the story about how the issue affects its own community. For non-English publications, the stories were translated into their respective languages.

Students at Northwestern University and its Medill School of Journalism reported and wrote the stories, while the publishers and editors helped shape the process through their work with Community Media Workshop’s Ethnic News Media Project and Medill’s Immigrant Connect project. The work is supported by grants from The Chicago Community Trust’s Community News Matters project, the McCormick Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation.

This is the second in the continuing partnership linking communities through their ethnic media. The first explored the impact of the 2010 U.S. Census count on their communities and were released simultaneously on Fri., Jan. 15, 2010, in the ethnic media and on Immigrant Connect. Check out the series here – Census stories link diverse immigrant communities

This is the only effort of this kind today in the U.S. as far as the partners know.

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