Having picked out my topic for an investigative piece for a class, I decided to pick one that’s close to my heart and is something I can easily relate to. Might cause some general bias, but I know I can be objective with this (coldly objective, might I add). And that topic is about migrant children. I was one. I still am, considering that was one of my main identities throughout life. And I highly doubt I’ll ever lose this identity anyhow, considering what I plan to do after I graduate. Not gonna be a migrant child then, but a migrant nonetheless.
Anyway, one of the things that I needed to do before further getting into the piece I’ve proposed to write is to make an annotated bibliography. While reading through countless sources, most of which pertained to the children left behind in the Philippines by migrant parents, I finally stumbled upon one that actually had insight on migrant children themselves.
What does the synthesis study have to say about this?
“Whether migrants went through the legal or illegal process, children migrants generally experience difficulties in coping and adopting in the new environment.
Lost Identity or Culture Gap
Children migrants experience the dilemma of lost identity or identity crisis. This second generation living abroad not only have difficulty in being accepted in the mainstream of the country where they grew up because they look physically different from the natives but at the same time they could not connect with their parent’s home country.”
This is usually the case for most, regardless of nationality, is it not? I mainly have Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake here to refer from merely because that’s one of the main books I’ve read that highlighted this sort of issue. I’m sure there are countless other books on lost cultural identity as well among migrant children, but I still haven’t encountered one that is in relation to Filipino cases (which is partly one of my inspirations for the novel idea I’m working on).
Totally went off tangent there from what I’m trying to get at with this post, but it has occupied my wonderment for many months now, ever since I became aware of it.
Anyhow, the point the study made is a good one, because I’ve felt that myself. But it isn’t an isolated case among Filipino migrant youths. It seems more like a universal case for most migrant youths anywhere. And lost identity or culture gap doesn’t necessarily have to be the case for most youths. Some may actually have successfully assimilated into their new society. And the case of second, third, or fourth generation children of migrants still living in that “foreign” land from whence their lineage did not naturally come from? They’d have acclimatised even better. Or who knows, they might have struggles as well.
Now that. That would be a different sort of study altogether, I believe, and one I’m also highly intrigued about.