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Sticking to Your Roots

Written by Hao Le 

Edited by Linda Lin

Parents from many different cultures immigrate to Canada in order to provide their children with a chance at a better future. These parents sacrifice stability for an opportunity for their children to grow up in a better environment – somewhere where they can live better lives. One unfortunate consequence of this sacrifice, however, is the fact that these parents often leave not only their country, but also their traditions and their culture behind.

Many children who grow up in Canada learn only the basics of their native language – if they are lucky. In fact, it has been found that a surprisingly large number of immigrant children are unable to write or even speak their first language. Their parents, having moved to Canada, hoped to immerse their children in the culture of their new country in an attempt to facilitate their transition and help them adapt to this foreign land.

Personally, I feel that it is a tragedy for parents to cut their children off from the rich culture of their native country. Although they no doubt had great intentions, I believe that each individual student’s heritage holds the key to their success. In my mind, it is the child’s understanding of the different cultures, and their ability to look from their respective perspectives, that allows them to develop and prosper as unique and outstanding minds. Through the child’s unique knowledge of both Western culture and the culture of their native country, they are able to make intuitive leaps and see things from angles which had not previously been considered. By cutting the child off from their culture, parents are depriving their children of a wonderful source of information which could have helped them become an even more knowledgeable and stand-out individual.

Furthermore, I believe that, by connecting students to their culture, parents can help their children construct a solid knowledge base on which they can build. What this means is that, by teaching their children about their native country’s culture and traditions, parents can provide their children with more experiences that they can use to relate to information they may learn later on. This knowledge can not only help children make more connections between what they learn in school, but can also help children become more interested in what they are learning. Having this cultural knowledge can help children relate to what they learn, and can also help engage them by teaching them the practical aspect of what they are learning.

One final important benefit of teaching children about their roots simply involves the notion of acceptance and building relationships. By teaching children about their culture and the traditions that go with it, parents can teach children to be proud of their heritage and share with them something that they themselves know and value. Not only will this strengthen the relationship between parents and children, but this knowledge can also help the world to become more accepting about differences. After all, the more people become aware of the different cultures and traditions around them, the more they will come to understand and appreciate it. The simple exposure of individuals to the foreign cultures around them will help others learn to be more open-minded.

For these reasons, and many other others, I would urge all parents to teach their children about their culture and their heritage. After all, these factors may very well be the ones which help your children on their road to success.

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