Does the Apple Fall Far from the Tree?

By Amanda Sands and Brittany Bishop
Published: March 2010

Maybe not, but in this neck of the woods, the wind is picking up…

Cultural clashes have existed since the beginning of humanity, often appearing in literature, television, and the general progression of history through time. Differences in custom, social class, and etiquette are some of the main reasons for familial conflict in today’s world. Pop culture has embraced this aspect of life, such as in the novel The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, or the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Even the musical theatre industry has adapted familial conflict in Fiddler on the Roof. In our country, and even in our own school, hostility and opposition arises within families due to contrasting cultures, religious beliefs, and political views.

Every household has a generation gap that accounts for certain differences between the adults’ and the kids’ day-to-day life’€simple choices that range from the appropriate way to dress or dating, to more controversial topics like political party or religion. Many young people feel as though their parents come from a different world.

Parents were born in an entirely different era, however, and they all grew up in distinctly dissimilar cultures from those of their teenage children.

Parents often have different outlooks on life due to past experiences and learned morals derived from their upbringings.

Naturally, the same was true when they were children themselves: if a teenager of any generation hasn’t been ordered to change her clothing or to turn off his loud music, then he or she is rather lucky.

America is characteristically diverse; it’s a melting pot of hundreds of cultures and traditions. Like in any society of mixed beliefs and customs from varying backgrounds, disagreements will emerge.

South, a school containing a variety of different backgrounds including students who are either first generation Americans with foreign parents or who are immigrants themselves, is precisely the same way.

The teenage immigrant commonly faces struggles that many of his peers typically don’t worry about: maintaining his cultural heritage or sustaining the traditions of his birthplace. Because the American lifestyle differs considerably from his mother country’s culture, arguments over social status, fashion choices, relationships, and even arranged marriages will begin to tear apart his family.

From the beginning of time, children and their parents have been at odds with one another. Especially when the folks come from a different neck of the woods, the apple certainly does fall far from the tree.

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