Friday, November 07, 2003
I learned a great deal about Somali values and culture including:Of course the audience was full of respect, and one woman wondered aloud why the Somalis couldn't pray in school. The Elder wonders whether they would have been as encouraging of school prayer for "white, evangelical Christians"?
- Somalis are very independent and individualistic with a strong work ethic.
- Many Somalis don't trust government institutions or banks.
- Somalis are deeply religious and very committed to their faith.
- Somalis are family orientated and support traditional family structures. .
- Somalis do not believe in or engage in pre-marital sex. (It was mentioned that AIDs is almost non-existent in the Somali community because of this)
- Somalis do not believe in indulging in alcohol or mind altering drugs.
- Somali parents are concerned about passing on their traditional values to their children.
- Somali parents are also concerned about the opportunities for their children to pray at school.
To her credit, after the town my grandmother raised her family in lost its Orthodox church, she had her family pray in a Protestant church. She also deeply distrusted banks -- we found money in mattresses after she died. This pattern repeats itself in many other immigrant cultures from Hispanic to Hmong.