Cultural Characteristics Research Paper

Total Length: 1023 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 3

Page 1 of 3

Immigration

The target family immigrated to the United States of America (USA) in 2001 from Western part of Kenya in East Africa. Composed of two parents and three children, a ten-year-old girl, eight-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl, the family's move to the U.S.A. was not an easy one. The man of the family, Oyot, before immigrating to the U.S., worked as a primary school teacher in a small township of Rongo in Nyanza province of Kenya. Life in Kenya was unbearable for him as his monthly salary was insufficient for his family.

Oyot had always wanted to leave Kenya in search of a better life for his family; there were issues that motivated his immigration to The U.S.A. First, in Africa, families are extended and some members of Oyot's family mocked him continually. They claimed that he was cursed and that he would never amount to anything. Oyot belongs to the Luo community in Kenya. And as a first born son of the family, he was expected to leave his father's home where he lived in a "simba" (Pabaris Paradise, 2012), to esablish his own homestead. The Luo's believe that it is improper for a younger brother to leave the family home before the elder one. Oyot's younger brother who was working in Nairobi had a better paying job; he put pressure on him to leave their father's home so that he could also leave. These continual remarks from his family and the pressure from his younger brother, tortured him mentally. Second, Oyot had taken a small cash loan from the school Saving and Credit Co-operative Society (SACCO).
SACCO's are popular in Kenya; almost every employee in Kenya is a member of a job-based SACCO (Kenya and the National Assembly, 2008). Oyot was three-months in arrears and did not have a payback plan; nonetheless, his salary could not help him services the loan. Oyot's predicament is not unique;

many people in Kenya find themselves in this kind of situation. Poverty, corruption as well as underemployment are major socioeconomic issues in the small East African Country (Kenya-Advisor, 2007).

Oyot's cousin living and studying in the U.S.A. mailed him Diversity Visa (DV) lottery application forms; he applied and was short-listed as a successful applicant. Oyot had to organize a fundraiser commonly known as "harambe" (Sobania, 2003, p. 166) in Kenya, to enable him purchase air ticket to the U.S.A. . He moved to the United States and four months later, his family joined him.

The Effect of Immigration on the Family

Life in the United States was different for Oyot. Here he worked two jobs. He lived with his cousin in Baltimore city before moving to a small apartment in the county after his family joined him. The family encountered obstacles in their assimilation process.

First, in the United States, people were not as close as they were in Kenya. People go about their own business, the family felt secluded from the larger community. In addition, language was a major barrier; the children had problems making friends in their new….....

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