Sunday, November 20, 2011

Immigrants

Isabel is currently studying about Immigrants that arrived here to the USA. She went on a field trip (excursion) the other day to Ellis Island. Hugo and I have been meaning to get out there as it seems like such an interesting place. We did go past it initially when we went to visit the Statue of Liberty which is now a year ago.
Ellis Island was a processing center for Immigrants and it was their first port of call before being accepted into the USA. At this center they would be checked for diseases and other factors before determining if they were allowed to start a new life here in the USA.

http://www.ellisisland.org/genealogy/ellis_island.asp



Both Hugo and I are children from immigration and we both have very different experiences. Australia is also a nation that opened up its door to and influx of immigration decades ago. It’s been very interesting to learn about the Immigration process here and especially during such a dark period in history when the Jewish in Europe were being persecuted. It has been a very interesting yet quite sad learning experience for Isabel
The school held an “open day” where for one hour the parents could observe the lesson. Isabel’s teacher was reading these 8 year olds a book telling a story of a family emigrating from Russia to the USA. The story progressed into the reason why they were leaving Russia and in a delicate and childish manner explained that if they did not leave they would be put in a concentration camp and would probably be killed. I stood in that classroom with Annika on my hip feeling my eyes start to well up with tears. I cannot explain why this moment affected me the way? Many of the children in Isabel’s class are Jewish and obviously descendants of immigrants that also fled to the USA. I felt so much sorrow for the people that were so unjustly affected by what was a very dark period in our world history. On the bright side they made a new and wonderful life here in the USA where they were free to be who they were.
It’s a magnificent thing that my 8 year old is constantly teaching me about life here in the USA. I look forward to her enthusiastic recall of what she learned in her glorious and uniquely enthusiasm every school pick up.
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