Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"The Immigrant Advantage"

The Immigrant Advantage: What We Can Learn from Newcomers to America about Health, Happiness and Hope.

  • How to Save: From the Vietnamese "Hui" to the Mexican "Tanda", these "Money Clubs" teach us how easy it can be to save the money we foolishly spend each month.
  • How to Mother a Mother: The Mexican "Cuartentena" is a 40 day period where family members "mother a mother" so she can concentrate on bonding with her newborn child.
  • How to Court: South Asian assisted marriage shows both old and new customs and how a nice balance can help a young person with what might be the biggest decision of their lives.
  • How to Learn: Covers the "Model Minority" and the importance Korean "hagwons", or afterschool study places, can have in a child's academic future.
  • How to Shelter: Building important relationships in life begins at home and how better than to live with extended family.
  • How to be a Good Neighbor: In a time where everybody seems too busy to stop and shoot the breeze this chapter shows how the bond you make with your neighbors can actually help you live healthier and happier.
  • How To Eat: The Vietnamese Monthly Rice helps parents avoid the extra stress of having to cook dinner after a long day at work and allows them to spend that time with family instead.
I've kept this book close to me since I began reading it. The first reason was, I was intrigued from page one and the second reason was, every time I did put it down, it seemed like every body was asking to read it. They gave me a good idea.
I was very lucky to have crossed paths with this book. When I think about every thing going on in the world, I look at this book and all the valuable information it has to offer. This country IS big enough for us all if we can all just learn to "Be A Good Neighbor" we can learn from each other and make this a better place.
I've finished reading the book and I can't think of a better way to share what I've learned than to donate this book to the library I work for. Can you imagine how many people in Los Angeles will benefit from these great customs?
Many of the ideas in the book are ones that my grandparents believed in and with time and passing generations have slipped away in my family. I'm glad to have been able to learn their importance and have begun to pass them onto my kids.
Thank you, Claudia Kolker

About the book: The Immigrant Advantage is a fascinating look into the lives of immigrant enclaves in the United States that we so seldom gain access to, and an inspiring exploration about how these customs can enrich our own lives.

Claudia Kolker
About the author: Claudia Kolker has reported extensively from Mexico and Central America, as well as the Caribbean, Japan, India and Pakistan. A former Los Angeles Times bureau chief and member of the Houston Chronicle editorial board, she has written for The Economist, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, O: The Oprah Magazine, Slate and Salon. She lives in Houston with her family. For The Immigrant Advantage, Kolker visited Korean and Chinese afterschools, West Indian multigenerational households in New Jersey, and Chicago's "Little Village", among others.

This book can be found on our shelves. The call number is 325.1 K81

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