Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Parents continue to pass on traditions, culture to the children

Another story about immigrant families teaching their children their own cultures while also raising the children as Americans. DP

By Phyllis Coulter

BLOOMINGTON -- Immigrants whose children are born in America find ways to incorporate American language and culture into their youngsters' lives.

Yazmin Hinojosa who moved from Mexico to Normal seven years ago is raising her toddler and kindergartner with an appreciation for both the country they live in and the country she came from.

She and husband Ernesto speak Spanish at home.

"I don't want them to lose their own language," said Hinojosa, who at the same time is taking lessons to improve her English at the family literacy program offered by the McLean, DeWitt, Livingston Office of Education at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bloomington.

She teaches her children about how both countries celebrate holidays.

For example, she dressed her 2-year-old daughter Mirilis like a princess for the family literacy program Halloween party. At the same time, she teaches her son David, 5, a student in the bilingual program at Brigham Elementary School in Bloomington, about Mexican tradition for the day of the dead at that time of year.

In Mexico, Nov. 2 is a time of tribute to relatives who have died. Their favorite dishes are served and families light candles in honor of family members who have died -- about 23 for Hinojosa's family. "Nobody's going to (pass on these Mexican traditions on here) so I teach it to my kids," she said.

Hinojosa earned a psychology degree in Mexico, and is working on a GED here, while she blends the best of both worlds for her children. She hopes to share things she has learned if she returns to her homeland.
Be sure to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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