People of Minneapolis II

The best conversations are overheard on public transit. On my train ride home today, I sat in front of two 20-ish looking young men. One was Caucasian and one was mixed race. It was one word that caught my attention and sparked my interest in their public conversation: love. I thought it unusual for two young men to be chatting so candidly about love. The young man of mixed race was passionately describing the ethnic dancing of his culture, which I learned was predominantly Filipino. He was relating how the more he studied his culture the more he fell in love with it. He tried to engage his companion in the conversation by asking his heritage. And the reply came as, "I'm German, but I'm not, I'm just American. I'm 100% American." To that the young Filipino man responded, "I consider myself 100% Filipino and 100% American. You can't cut off a piece of me."

This interaction is a great example of the complexity of a country built by immigrants. The Filipino man would be considered the "new immigrants" as opposed to "old immigrants" like the young German who was most likely a 3rd or 4th generation at least. The new immigrants are still aware and proud of their ancestry, waving it like a flag while the old immigrants are more removed from the "homeland." Our culture and ancestry are a large part of what makes us who we are; it's unfortunate to lose that connection. The new immigrants offer a blessing in the form of reminding those of us who have been in American for generations to treasure and to never stop falling in love with our heritage.

Their conversation floated back and forth between audible and inaudible as the PA shouted the passing stations, but as they exited the train I heard the Filipino man suggest to his friend that he just had to check out German dancing. I hope he takes his friend's advice.
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