Sunday, July 08, 2007

4th July


So 4th of July was preplanned for me. I had errands to run in the morning and in the evening I was going to take the kids to Valleyfair. Its sort of a ritual for me because I get to spend some time with them without getting a sore voice. Last year I forewent the ritual because a week later I was taking them to Six Flags. Anywho, the gang and I pack lunch and drinks for the trip. I took my camera cause my cuzs from Sweden were visiting and I wanted to chronicle their time in the US. Since its been a couple years, I didn't have a clear picture of what I would see, but nothing could prepare me for that day. From the ticket booth to inside the park I saw a bunch of loitering somalis. Young boys who did nothing but stare at people entering. They even tried to hustle me by offering me a discount for a bit of money. Next was the amount of young girls walking around in skimpy outfits with guys hanging on their arms. A decade ago when I moved to MN, I went to valleyfair annually. The atmosphere was different then. You saw proper young ladies with their family dressed decently. Now, instead of family it was boyfriends. As I was standing in line with my siblings, I looked across the queue and noticed a group of rowdy somali guys and girls. Next to us were two African American women. They looked at the group then looked at us, then back at the loud talking group. One of them started a sentence, "I thought they were supposed to be dressed **mumble mumble**." She had noticed me looking at her. She smiled at me and turned towards her friend. I could feel my face getting red but I wasn't entirely sure if I was mad at the group of somalis or at the expectation to be the same.

I normally don't care what other do or wear but lately I get irritated at the direction our youth seems to be taking. I have to check my sister's attire as they step out the door. No jeans , no revealing, plunging neckline and no tight clothing. Is decency a lost art or am I old fashioned? Whatever the case, I have gotten into the habit of keeping my siblings away from the "dhocil" generation and I would rather they stay home and keep each other company!

8 comments:

Firefly said...

LoL...I find loud youths annoying too. And I don't think decency is a lost art, some kids just get a little bit lost when they hit puperty. But I think most grow out of it quickly, especially if they have older siblings who they look up to.

Aya said...

Ugh. I wish they wouldn't walk around in groups like packs of wolves. Good for you on keeping a close tab on your sisters. Adolescence is such a silly (yet dangerous) time.

Although I find our teens every bit as irritating as other teens, I am especially disappointed in their insistence on being outside all hours of the day (and night). I think there is a serious problem with young Somalis not occupied enough by sports or the arts and too little adult supervision

SleepDepraved said...

Everytime I see young guys hanging out with nothing to do, I tell myself they will grow up realizing that idle time is completely normal........therefore sitting at starbucks at 10 am in the morning when you are 40 is not a stretch. Aya I think sports/arts/after school activities are wonderful things to infuse in the somali community but its the notion of when in rome do as romans do. Most people ask my mom why we live far from everyone and the reason primarily is that no matter how much I coddle my siblings I have to come to grips with the fact that in school they are by themselves and will pick up some unbecoming habits.

Does anyone notice how the pakistani or arab communities seem to have their children sheltered? What are we missing?

Aya said...

SD, we are missing active engagement in a child's life. My neighbours are Vietnamese and their teen boys have activities 4-5 evenings a week, ping pong practice all weekend and full time schooling in the summer. Although the parents don't have professional jobs and work long hours, one is always there to coordinate this busy life.

I gave their kids some of my older math texts and the 14 yr. old is already gunning for uni. Too many Somali families insist on having as many children as they did in Somalia. Why??? Quality over quantity is important. We don't realize that these activities produce stamina, rigor and excellent work ethics, which go a long way in academic and professional success. It also requires active engagement and nearly impossible to do with more than 3 or so kids even in the best of circumstances.

my thoughts said...

I agree with Aya...i think that we take this matter lightly and as said do what the romans do...we should do what the white ppl are doing...setting our kids for responsibilities early...i am working for the city and one of the ppl i work with is the somali community of seattle, this ppl are getting paid to enroll kids for summer programs but they aren't taking advantage of this opportunity. So i don't blame the kids for hanging around places, it is the parents and siblings responsibilty to know what ur kids are upto. plus...somali's keep forgetting that we are not back home and that our neighborhood and communities to raise our kids, they don't care for us the same way the community cared back home..!

Unheardphilosopher said...

Man, let the kids have fun...stop this "keeping on eye thing" Regardless of the point, they will head to their destination...the least you can do is talking to them and understand their point of view( hopeful it won't involve the "I don't know" phrase)...

SleepDepraved said...

Unheardphilospher, I am sure my parents weren't in lieu with that philosophy when I was growing up. I had structure. From school, I had to wash up, homework plus tuition then dinner then an hour of personal time, then bed. You didn't talk back to your parents, you were respectful to elders. Nowadays, kids talk out of line. I am sorry but I don't expect to be on the show, KIDS say the DARNDEST things everyday. They speak without thinking. Is it the environment, is it the TV as a nanny thing. Whatever the case, its turned me resolutely against bringing up my kids here. The fabric of family and community is frayed.

Mythoughts right on point. It is the responsibility of the adults.

Aya hehehe. Come now you know that more children more welfare. Jokes aside, If you have one parent staying at home it is easier to have more children but the degree gets more difficult when both are working parents.

NATIVE FEMALE said...

Structure...that is what we need...I am too familiar with your childhood experience above SleepD as it is practically identical to mine. I am all the better for it even though at the time I slightly resented it.

Things need to be done to make the kids busy as idle thumbs make for the devils work :)