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A continuation of culture

January 28, 2022

A continuation of culture

Traditions stuck with freshman Lily Zing even as she arrived in Indiana and integrated into the American community. Whether it is through clothing or holidays, she finds a way to combine both cultures while not disconnecting from her own. She felt separated, at first, from the American students because she came from a third world country.
Zing did not want to feel as if she was falling behind, so she decided to put herself out of her comfort zone to talk to others.
‘‘In order to get along with people, you just need to understand your differences,’’ Zing said.
Because she arrived at a young age, she was able to learn English rapidly. She adapted to her new environment by styling herself with American clothing and expanding her knowledge on the English language by talking with American kids at her school.
Zing says that being in the U.S. for many years has made her forget many aspects of the Burmese language.
“It’s honestly disappointing because it’s not only me that’s losing it. It’s a lot of the Chin community,’’ Zing said.
Even though her parents are elated to see their children living happy lives in the U.S., they also do not want them to forget where they came from.
One way that Zing has been keeping in touch with her cultural traditions is through Christmas. She mentions that in Myanmar, villages would come together to celebrate this holiday.
Church has led to her being family oriented. Christianity is also a big part of the Chin community, so going to church with her family has strengthened her relationships with them. The teachings at her church are also in her native languages. She speaks three in total: Zophei, Hakha and Tinam.
The importance of knowing those languages is instilled in her.
‘‘I would never want to forget where we came from,” Zing said. “(My parents) want us to pass on our language and traditions onto future generations.”


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