Title

East Africa

Presenter Information

amin clay

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 137A

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

This ethnographic research project focused on the East African communities established in Western Washington. There are three dominant cultures that hail from East African: Somalian, Eritrean, and Ethiopian. All three have been making their presence felt in the greater Seattle area for decades in business/commerce, academics, and in religious life. The challenge for each immigrant community is how to successfully integrate economically while maintaining their unique cultural traditions. This research will explore the history of the formation of these communities, the reasons behind immigration, and how these communities are faring in the present day. What I found was that each culture has developed self-sustaining communities providing members with the tools, resources, and programs to successfully assimilate in the Pacific North West while at the same time promoting their maintenance of their unique cultural traditions. However, as is the case with most immigrant communities, there are tensions between the generations. This is particularly an issue for East Africans as they come from a world different from Washington and many express the Muslim faith. I found that East African youths must negotiate between two different worlds: the secular and the religious. The young generation lives just as every American boy or girl in our civic society, but does practice their cultural and religious beliefs in their daily lives. Also finding that both older generation, and younger generations possess a vast amount of interpersonal tact, effectively communicating with others alike and unalike who are not aware of their culture.

Faculty Mentor(s)

nelson pichardo

Additional Mentoring Department

Sociology

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May 17th, 12:40 PM May 17th, 12:59 PM

East Africa

SURC 137A

This ethnographic research project focused on the East African communities established in Western Washington. There are three dominant cultures that hail from East African: Somalian, Eritrean, and Ethiopian. All three have been making their presence felt in the greater Seattle area for decades in business/commerce, academics, and in religious life. The challenge for each immigrant community is how to successfully integrate economically while maintaining their unique cultural traditions. This research will explore the history of the formation of these communities, the reasons behind immigration, and how these communities are faring in the present day. What I found was that each culture has developed self-sustaining communities providing members with the tools, resources, and programs to successfully assimilate in the Pacific North West while at the same time promoting their maintenance of their unique cultural traditions. However, as is the case with most immigrant communities, there are tensions between the generations. This is particularly an issue for East Africans as they come from a world different from Washington and many express the Muslim faith. I found that East African youths must negotiate between two different worlds: the secular and the religious. The young generation lives just as every American boy or girl in our civic society, but does practice their cultural and religious beliefs in their daily lives. Also finding that both older generation, and younger generations possess a vast amount of interpersonal tact, effectively communicating with others alike and unalike who are not aware of their culture.