LAO FAMILY COMMUNITY OF MINNESOTA: BRIDGING THE CHINESE AND AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE

LAO FAMILY COMMUNITY OF MINNESOTA: BRIDGING THE CHINESE AND AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE

Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing racial populations in the United States. According to statistics, there are 20 million Asian Americans as of 2015 and this group is on its way to becoming the largest immigrant group in the United States. One subgroup of this racial population is the Chinese Americans who are distinct in their own way. And just like the rest of the immigrant population, they face challenges along the way as they find their own place in this land called America.

When we say immigrant, lots of things come to mind, all of them challenging such as adjustment, transitioning, being away from home, foreign land, and journey. Immigrants can also have issues with acceptance, belongingness, relationships, beliefs, identity, and individuality. All of these are being experienced by Chinese Americans as they strive to reconcile the East and the West. They find themselves in a unique situation – oceans apart from home and coming across two whole new worlds.

The Lao Family Community of Minnesota is a support group for Chinese Americans to help them in transitioning from their Chinese descent to an American way of life. We help Chinese Americans reconcile these two cultures which will undoubtedly become a big part of their lives. We understand that settling down in a different country many miles away from your original home can be sad, confusing, and stressful. But it can also be fun, exciting, and can open up a whole new world of opportunities for you and your family as you open your garage doors in Wichita. Why are we saying this? Because we’ve been in the same situation and now it is time to give back to our fellow Chinese Americans who seem lost in this jungle. We understand the calling to pursue your American dream and at the same time having a battle inside your heart and mind if this is indeed worth pursuing. America, to the newcomer from the East, can be intimidating. There are lots of things to learn and do in order to acclimatize yourself to the Western way of living. You have to unlearn to learn. But it does not mean that you have to lose your identity in the process. That is why we are here to help you find yourself.

The Lao Family Community of Minnesota promotes awareness of the Chinese culture because we believe that awareness will bridge the gap towards an understanding of cultural diversity. We want to encourage the celebration of each culture as they are each unique and special, worth acclaiming and commemorating in their own right. We want to make it clear though that our programs and services are not exclusive to Chinese Americans. We welcome those who want to know more about the Chinese and American cultures in line with our pursuit of cultural diversity. Let us all support unity in diversity, understanding cultures despite the distance and differences. At the end of the day, it does not matter where you came from. What matters most is that you are able to give your best to help make this world a better place to live in.