Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Other Dilemmas...

My son attends a Christian school here in Nuevo Leon (our state). The other day I went to an assembly where my son made this pledge (translated afterwards to English for you).

Con los pies firmemente posados sobre la tierra, con la mirada puesta en el lejano horizonte de la patria, con la mano puesta sobre el corazón, musitemos fervorosamente la siguiente promesa. Somos mexicanos, somos neoloneses, por los sacrificios que hicieron nuestros mayores, por la vida de nuestros héroes ofrendada en el altar de la patria, prometemos ser siempre dignos y grandes, conservar la herencia de honor, de valor y de progreso que nos legaron las generaciones pasadas, prometemos así mismo dar nuestra vida en defensa de México y de Nuevo León cuando la patria nos llame, prometemos por último, ser siempre muy mexicanos y muy neoloneses.

With my feet planted firmly on the ground, and my eyes fixed on the horizon of the homeland, with my hand over my heart, I fervently make the following promise. We are Mexicans, we are from Nuevo Leon, and on the lives of our heroes who offered themselves on the altar of our homeland, we promise to be always worthy and great, to conserve the inheritance of honor, of bravery, and of progress that past generations have given us, we also promise to give our lives in defense of Mexico and of Nuevo Leon when our homeland calls us. Finally we promise to always be very Mexican and Nuevo Leones.

I don't know, it made me a little uncomfortable hearing these words come out of my nine year old's mouth. I mean, a promise is a promise, right? We have taught our kids that when they are in another country that they should always be respectful during the flag raising, the national anthem, the pledge to the flag. I didn't think that it would be obligatory that he would have to profess these things, and I intend to speak to his principal about it, just to ask him what he thinks.

Then I think about all the little immigrant kids in the US, those who are repeating the pledge of allegiance in classrooms every morning. What do their parents think? How do they feel? It's kind of like a loss of identity in a way.


Anonymous said...

I remember 4 years ago when our boys first had to do the "pledge of allegiance" to the Nicaraguan flag and, as the Nica kids were saluting it, they (our boys) looked to me like "Dad...what do we do?!" I told them to go ahead and put their hand over their heart like all the Nicas were doing and by doing so we're not renouncing our allegiance to our home country but rather voluntarily honoring our host country. But of course it IS a historical fact that U.S. troops have invaded and/or occupied parts of Nicaragua more than 5 times and Mexico more than 10 times over the last 150 years. So our boys have posed the question to us: what would we do if that happens while we are here?

My answer? It all depends on the specifics of course but overall I think I'd just lay low and ride it out and help pick up the pieces afterwards.


Hbomb said...

You have made me think...I'm going to have to think on this for a while.

Sarah said...

Hmmm... I'm not sure this pledge is like the Pledge of Allegiance.

Although we must pledge "allegiance"

(American Heritage Dictionary:

1. Loyalty or the obligation of loyalty, as to a nation, sovereign, or cause.(covering citizens)

2. The obligations of a vassal to a lord. (covering non-citizens)

We do not make everyone say that they "are Americans"nor to "give their lives in military service to America when they are called"

I can imagine the multi-cultural outrage if we made anyone say that they promise to "always be very American"

I think this pledge goes too far beyond simply extolling the nation's virtues and pledging loyalty. While it is probably appropriate for a Mexican Citizen, I personally would advise my kids (non-citizens) to put their hand on their hearts in respect, but that they didn't have to promise these things.

I would also advise this to a non-citizen immigrant in America.

Michelle said...

Goodness your getting deep for me . . . I haven't had my coffee yet.
I just got over feeling bad for pulling my girl out of school all week last week when they were studying about the day of the dead . . making alters and such.

"When in Rome"?.....
(I know, pathetic, but it's almost 1am and I really don't do heavy thinking this late/early since college)