Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Clash of the Cultures

Last weekend we got pulled into a domestic dispute that our neighbors were having. We don't know much about these neighbors except that they came to America from India about 11 years ago. Their 19 year old daughter came flying into our house crying and hysterical asking me to call 911 and saying that "he" was going to kill her. After her came her mother, who speaks very little english and her father or brother, I am not sure, it is all kind of a blur. The girl ran upstairs and the mother was excitedly talking to me, I could not understand what she was saying. I followed the girl upstairs and telephoned 911, the neighbors already had too, and then waited for the sherif to get here. My husband got the others out of the house and I was able to calm the girl. Turns out the father found that she had a "My Space" and instead of talking things over decided to get physical. I don't debate the right of the father to make rules for his household, but I do take issue with the way he and his son tried to enforce them. What I see as an issue here is people coming from one culture that has certain ideas about women and their place to another country, namely ours, that has completely different ideas about that sort of thing. They don't learn the language and they send their children to public school and yet expect that they won't pick up attitudes that pervade our society. To some extent, as Christians, we can have the same problem. We are in this world but of another, trying to remain true to our Lord. Trying to fit one culture into another is truly a difficult thing.

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