Wednesday, April 10, 2019


I was on my way home the other night with two women. They are volunteers who help a couple of Syrian refugee families adjust to life in this part of the world. One of them was talking about a young girl in one of the families—she thought the girl might be around 11 years old—and how tall she is. Apparently this is a concern for the adult women in the families. They feel that because of her height she should start wearing a hijab, like an adult Muslim woman.

The girl is reluctant, no one else in her class at school wears one and so it would make her stand out. She just wants to be like the other girls in her class. So it's an ongoing discussion. The two women I was with thought it was a shame to make the 11-year-old grow up so fast, to mark her as different in a world she just wants to belong in.

It must be hard for refugee parents to see their children resisting ages-old traditions, becoming less and less recognizable to them. The stress of making their way in a foreign land exacerbated by the strain of dealing with children who adapt so much more quickly to the new way of life.


Wisewebwoman said...

It is weird to me how sometimes we are in sync as today I wrote a story about a refugee.

It is so hard on all in a family making changes, adapting, not adapting. I've heard some extraordinary stories over the years from emigrants. One old Portuguese granny refusing to speak another word of English when she landed in Canada, to "set an example for her grandchildren, we are Canadian now."

There is just so much in this land of ours. So much of it strange for those used to open markets and bell ringing and uncut hair, etc. etc.


Rain Trueax said...

Whether refugees or migrants, to come to a new country, maybe not speak the language, it has to be tough. One of my great grandmothers came from Germany and one great grandfather, on the other side, came from Scotland. I think they both adjusted, but it had to be easier with the common language. The rest of my ancestors came over much earlier. Was it harder or easier then.

What got me today is to read in the Guardian how many honour killings are still happening around the world but some in England and i know the US has had them. That is the ultimate attempt to control to the old culture.

Wise Hearted said...

We have lived in two third world countries and I can attest how hard it is on children. If the parents are honest with them and share how they struggle to with adjusting it's helps. My daughter and family lived in the jungles of Papua New Guinea for 14 years with three children. Each of the children have struggles but the oldest who is a junior in college has done the best with it. she is not a risk taker but is a strong Christian and despite the liberal college she goes to she has made her own way. The 18 son graduates this year, he has struggled the most. the 10 girls does real well. Even with the struggles they are glad they had the experience of living where they did. They live up north in Mn. ,little town, most grew up there, never left so they world is smaller. Learning to adjust is good for future life. It's part of life. first thing we did living in a foreign is learn their language, their culture for you do not want to offend them. You do begin to make relationships and then the strangeness goes away. sometimes it hard to return to the USA that so many choices for everything in life, it's over whelming. Good post.