January 13, 2009

WHY AMERICA? (Part 2/5)

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Immigration is such a huge topic in this country right now. I am pretty sure that most of us personally know someone who has emigrated to the United States. My great-great-grandfather, Sven, came from Uddevalla, Sweden. I also have ancestors who came from Ireland and England. David’s grandfather was from Poland, and spent a good part of his life, sending money to Poland in order to move more relatives to America.

Last week, my oldest was asked to interview an Immigrant for a school project. Unfortunately, we don’t have any living relatives that emigrated to The United States so she chose the next best thing…Lyana. Lyana is a Russian Immigrant who came to America when she was 21 years old. She has worked for us at our business for the last 5 years and is smart, hardworking, and a huge asset to us.

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Here is the interview that Gaby conducted with Lyana. My guess is that most people who come to America feel that same way she does.

Gaby - What country did you come from?
Lyana-Russia

Gaby-How did you get here?
Lyana-On a plane from Moscow to New York

Gaby-Did you come with anyone else?
Lyana-My brother and cousin.

Gaby-Where did you stay when you first arrived?
Lyana-A hotel.

Gaby-Did you know anyone when you arrived?
Lyana-No!

Gaby-How did you feel when you arrived?
Lyana-Excited and lonely.

Gaby-Why did you leave Russia?
Lyana-I wanted more choices in my life.

Gaby-What kind of choices?
Lyana-Well in Russia, you don’t really have a choice for what you want to do or where to work. I was lucky, my parents wanted me to be educated but most of my friends that were girls, their parents didn’t think girls needed to be educated. They thought instead they should just get married and have babies. It also depends on where you live in Russia as to what you are allowed to do. Girls don’t have many choices there.

Gaby-What were the biggest differences you noticed when you entered the United States?
Lyana-That people don’t appreciate the opportunities they have in America. Americans have a lot more opportunities when it comes to education and work. Most people do not realize how lucky they are to be able to choose where they work.

Gaby-What are the biggest similarities between America and Russia?
Lyana-People are people no matter where they are born…they are the same.

Gaby-What do you miss about your homeland?
Lyana-My mother, my family (it has been 11 years)

My guess is that these answers are universal. CHOICES AND FREEDOM. Do you have relatives that emigrated to AMERICA? What are the two words they would use to explain why they wanted to come here?

To view the rest of the America Week series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

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Down home friends and what they say...

Comments (1)

Angie @ Many Little Blessings said:

That was really neat to read an interview with someone who has come to America in the recent past. Thanks for giving me something to think more about! :)


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