Romanian Americans-Countries and their Cultures



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According to “Romanian Americans-Countries and their Cultures”, the first major Romanian immigration to America took place between 1895 and 1920. During this period, there were around 145,000 Romanians living in the United States. Romanians left their country because of economic depression and forced assimilation. Many Romanians that immigrated because of economic reasons planned on returning to Romania after working in the United States and saving enough money to take back home. By 1920, many Romanians had left the United States to return home. In 1920, there were only around 85,000 Romanians in the United States. Between 1921 and 1939, only 603 Romanians were allow to immigrate to the United States per year. This slowed down Romanian immigration to the United States for 18 years. Those who did immigrate were students, professionals, and people who made significant contributions to American society. In 1947, many Romanian immigrants entered the United States due to the threat of Nazi occupation during WWII. Around 1989, Romanian communism ended. With communism over, a new wave of Romanians entered the United States due to the end of communism travel restrictions.

Romanians, like many other ethnicities throughout history, have faced many challenges immigrating to the United States. Most Romanians who immigrate to the United States do not speak English. Also, many are fleeing from poor economic conditions; consequently, when they enter the United States they don’t have money. Some immigrants have family in the United States to help them get settled, but many others are alone. Many Romanians are also leaving family members behind in Romania hoping to make a better life for themselves in their new country. Also, the majority of Romanians are unskilled and uneducated making it harder to find jobs in the United States. Currently, to enter the United States from Romania, you must obtain a visa. Visas are issued for travel and immigration. Immigration visas are provided in four general categories. The first is immediate relatives. Next is family-based. Third is employment based, and the last is called the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. The visa application must be filled out in the United States. Also, the visas must gain approval. If approval is given, a fee must be paid and then the visa interview can be scheduled. There are many different reasons a Romanian trying to obtain a United States immigration visa may get denied (Embassy of The United States, 2014). Today it’s estimated that there are approximately 1.1 million Romanian Americans in the United States (Wikipedia, 2014).

I haven’t learned any new terminology from my course readings that applied to my research on Romanian immigration. I have definitely gained more cultural immigration knowledge and empathy for all immigrants. I know as our readings progress I’ll acquire more applicable terminology.

Diversity can be taught through Romania’s immigration history in a variety of ways. I would teach students about diversity through examples in Romanian history that caused Romanians to immigrate to the United States. Some of the topics I would cover are forced assimilation, poor economic conditions, and communism.

Lesson

Poor economic conditions

Students would study Romanian economic conditions. They would investigate conditions like unemployment rates, inflation, and poverty. Then, students will create a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the economic conditions between the United States and Romania. Finally, the class would have discussions about economic conditions and immigration. The reasons why families would want or need to immigrate would be discussed. There are so many extension lessons, but an example is to have an immigrant come in and share their story with the class.

Lesson


Assimilation

Students would be informed of what assimilation is. The class would discuss Romania’s forced assimilation and its relationship to immigration. The teacher would then tell the students they will be assimilating today. The teacher will have students write down five things they feel represent who they are. The teacher will model some examples for the class before the students start. The teacher will then explain to the students that they have to give up or disown these items, beliefs, customs, language…etc. The teacher will throw away their old lists and give them a new list with five new items representing who they have to become. Then the will class discuss how they felt and relate this experience to assimilation and immigration.

Lesson

Communism



Karl Marx will be introduced and ten important aspects of communism will be written on one side of a T-chart. The class will discuss communism. Then the teacher will use the other side of the T-chart to write down the historical realities of a communist country. The class will discuss the two sides of the T-chart focusing on communism (the actual beliefs and the historical realities) and the reasons for immigration. The class will then divide into cooperative group to discuss questions the teacher hands out. Some examples questions on the handout: Is it possible for a communist country to benefit its citizens? How does a country stray so far from the original communist ideals? Why do people think communism is bad?

References

Apply for a U.S. visa Retrieved from www.ustraveldocs.com

Romanian American Retrieved from En.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian American

Romanian Americans-Countries and their Cultures Retrieved from www.everyculture.com

Embassy of the United States Bucharest. Romania Retrieved from



Romania.usembassy.gov/mobile//

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