Our Immigrant Ancestors faced many challenges as they embarked on the journey of resettling in a new and foreign land. Their original root cultures traveled with them, embedded in their very being and preserved within the traditions they practiced. As we Demystifying Culture and Folklore of those bravely making these life-changing decisions, we may also discover the encounters and trials they faced. How they responded often reflects their culture’s beliefs.
When we look at How Culture Affected Our Immigrant Ancestors’ Lives, many aspects become clear. We are all familiar with the term “Culture Shock,” but have you personally experienced it? Shock says, “This is not the same as what I have been used to!” Many major changes are to be expected in our new circumstances, but there are always surprise encounters that catch us off guard with stumbling blocks and obstacles to deal with that we didn’t see coming. Misunderstandings are sure to occur as cultural differences emerge and an alternate perspective is revealed. How did our ancestors adapt to their new environments? What did they keep “from the old country” and what was exchanged for their new experiences? Their struggles were real and their stories may be revealed as you carefully explore this time period in their lives. Everyone’s story will be different, but with familiar similarities as they found their place in their new communities. Whether it was in the work place, or interacting with new neighbours, our ancestors made adjustments to fit in. It is interesting to see some strong traditions thrive, while other customs from the home country are traded or forgotten in just a few generations.
As you continue to work through the Demystifying Culture and Folklore course, you will recognize elements for their root cultures have indeed survived, although you may not have known its origins until revealed by digging deeper into your family’s traditions.