Balanced Melting Pot

Cultural Secrecy

In Culture, Economic Crisis, Questions, Social Norms on March 23, 2009 at 12:31 pm

For me, one of the best parts about being a first generation (1.5 by some accounts) immigrant is that I am able to objectively look at the positive and negative aspects of both my cultures. By recognizing something doesn’t work well in one, I don’t feel at all as though I am rejecting it – just making the best of it. The issue at hand: secrecy.

With all that’s going on in the global economy, my daughter’s private school has also fallen victim. As I’ve mentioned, it is a French immersion program and also teaches a bit of Spanish.

The school is run by someone I think is also a first generation Haitian immigrant. In our culture, you NEVER air your dirty laundry. However, I feel to best adapt to the American culture, you have to learn to separate family laundry and business laundry.

Basically, the school is in serious financial trouble and we, the parents, weren’t informed until quite late in the game. At that point, many parents felt that there was not enough transparency with the school’s administration and wanted a lot more information before doing anything. What we received in response was the financial projections for the next school year :-(.

So, I may be reaching, but I think that the principal considers the school’s woes to be her dirty laundry. The thought of giving its patrons, the parents, an inside look to what may be happening seems to be uncomfortable. In turn, we feel uncomfortable providing additional financial support.

Do you have similar norms in your culture and have you experienced something similar? How did you handle the situation?

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