The Effects of the Gap
In 1975, during the aftermath of the Vietnam War, refugee families were forced to leave their homes in Vietnam to escape Communist control, and come to a foreign country called America. During this time, as is true today, immigrants from Mexico were also trickling in through the boarder looking for new opportunities for their families on American soil. Although many families did reach the goal of success and prosperity, a huge price was paid in return. That price was an offering up of their culture to survive. This giving up of culture has unwittingly caused a generation gap. The effects of the generation gap are a lack of cultural loyalty and a lack of cultural awareness.
Once in America, immigrants to this country had to quickly adapt to the busy, fast-paced American culture of hard work and years of schooling. They also had to assimilate into the great melting pot called "America." Eager to support their household financially and educationally, immigrants, such as the Vietnamese and Mexicans, often found jobs which required them to wake up at sunrise seven days a week. With little time to spend with their families, parents had no opportunity, to teach their children of their heritage, and the American schooling they received, taught nothing of their Vietnamese or Mexican history. The lack of education these Vietnamese-American and Mexican-American children have caused a generation gap between them and their parents.
Lack of cultural loyalty can occur if parents do not educate their children of their origin. Jack Lopez entitled Of Cholos and Surfers, writes about how his parents, who are of Mexican origin, took pride in living in a Latino environment, and when they moved into the suburbs into a "white" community, Lopez's parents felt like they had "Thrust themselves and their children into what was called at the time the melting pot of Los Angeles" (Lopez 16). Lopez did not understand...