Caught Between Two Cultures
Asian and Pacific Islander youth are typically the first generation born in the United States from parents who migrated from their native homelands. Oftentimes, these youth are faced with an identity crisis. From an early age, they grow up in a more traditional, culturally-centered home where they develop their ethnic identities. Later, in school, church, and neighborhoods they learn to adopt a different culture. Having a foothold in two different worlds, many are unsure of which path to follow. Often they feel alone in dealing with this issue, unsure of which way to go, and unsure of who to talk to. They find themselves attracted to the new culture that their immigrant parents would often speak negatively about. At the same time, they’re not willing to let go of their roots, of which they may have been embarrassed when they were younger. Some of them venture off on their own to find their own paths, leaving behind families (an important support system) that will resent them. This results in a young person growing up in two different worlds, two distinct cultures. They may have been taught their cultural beliefs and practices, but they often find themselves identifying closely with the culture of their new homeland. This can inflict some form of mental instability.
By Mitieli Gonemaituba, Content Contributor