I didn't see the message you are responding to, so perhaps I'm misinterpreting what
you're doing here. I find it sad and somewhat appalling that a native-born American
would feel she has "lost" her culture simply because she doesn't
eat/dance/speak/worship/whatever the way her ancestors did in their various homelands.
Your "culture" is more than occasionally eating certain foods, celebrating certain
holidays, or wearing a costume on special occasions. It is all the infinitesimal things
we do on a daily basis that make up our particular national character.
Though I teach on a reservation, I've never felt it to be part of my job to teach my
students their culture; that is the job of their parents or other elders. That many of
the parents have failed to do so says something about what they value, whether it's a
desire to become more mainstream, or just from sheer apathy. It is not the school's job
to take up the slack simply because _we_ think they should live up to our notions of
what their culture is.
You and your students already have a culture--it is American culture, and yes, _part_ of
that culture is the fact that our ancestors came from other places (including the
Indians'; theirs just got here sooner). But then, any country is essentially a melting
pot; what country has been completely stable and homogenous since the dawn of human
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