Journaling | The Immigrant Experience
Of all human stories one of the most compelling and universal is the immigrant experience. Document yours or interview relatives and write it all down for the benefit of new American generations to come. Between the demands of economic pressures and the desire to lose rather than emphasize our ‘otherness’ many family histories are quickly overshadowed by cultural differences and the traditions, triumphs and tragedies of previous generations are easily lost.
Typically interviews of family members involve older or elderly people. Make sure they’re comfortable with a beverage to ‘wet their whistle’. You may decide to capture the interview on film although often older people are resistant to this method.
Format: Family Genealogy
Many people are passionate about tracing their family genealogy and use well tested methods online, printed genealogy forms and graphic representations of family trees, etc. If you have neither the time nor the passion to pursue your entire lineage, consider simply starting a journal that records basic information:
Of all the journals one could keep this might be the most appealing documentation of all. If interviewing family members or lengthy writing projects don’t appeal, consider keeping a book of family traditions that reflect the cultural richness immigrant families embody.