With a ‘twofold identify,’ immigrants could embrace their new country, while simultaneously believing that ‘the old world’ was not to be discarded but would remain an inspiration and source of pride in the new.”

gulliksenIs it possible to identify with two countries? My family has a fondness for Norway that is hard to explain. Our Norwegian heritage comes up in conversations all the time, which is why it might be surprising to learn that my family immigrated three generations ago. Apparently, this is not unusual. One of the studies in this book shows how maintaining cross-border ties can be healthy and can enhance immigrants’ ability to assimilate into the new country. The scope of the study is small, and its applications are limited. However, in today’s highly-charged political environment, it’s something to consider.

Karen V. Hansen and Ken Chih-Yan Sun “Localizing Transnational Norwegians: Exploring Nationalism, Language, and Labor Markets in Early Twentieth Century North Dakota” in Norwegian-American Essays 2011: Transnationalism and the Norwegian-American Experience, Oyvind T. Gulliksen, ed. Harry T. Cleven (Oslo: Novus Press, 2011),  79.

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