New Americans Cultural Riches Take The Quiz
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Anderia Eze
Denton, TX
I am the American citizen spouse of a Nigerian man who has been trying to get into this country for nearly 15 years in order to fulfill his dreams. Just recently, we have been traversing the spouse visa maze for some 4 years. I thought the agony, the sadness and the emotional drain were mine alone. And yet, I can't begin to imagine what my husband is going through back at home. All I can say of this program is "WOW!" When I wasn't laughing I was crying. This is why I have decided to support PBS.

San Gabriel, California
Wow! I usually can't sit long enough to watch anything this long, but after stumbling upon this program the first night, I looked for it the next two nights.

I am an immigrant, but can hardly remember the struggles my parents experienced with limited English, culture shock, financial problems. I'm proud of my parents that they had fixed goals of making it a success in the U. S. and they did!

This documentary was wonderful. I wish I could show it to many, many people that are unsympathetic to the struggles of immigrants, especially people of color.

I teach in a neighborhood of Los Angeles where I have many immigrant children, and the teacher's hearts are often opened up to help their students, if only with a pair of new shoes.

All of us humans are just trying to improve our life somewhat. Some people take the drastic measure of leaving their homeland, and it's a tough, tough choice. I wish the New Americans much luck, please just try to better yourselves and your new country, beginning with EDUCATION.

Joan M. Benedetti
Santa Monica, CA
My husband and I watched the entire series and I think we will buy the video, the book, and the score, which was haunting. We found all of the segments absolutely riviting. It was amazing how comfortable all of the families seemed to be with the cameras. That is a compliment to the directors and the photographers. It allowed us as viewers to feel some of the pain as well as the warmth that the family members felt for each other. We were very involved with all of their stories, but we especially felt for the Mexican family. We cried several times for the little boy and for the oldest daughter. We hope they will be OK. All of the families experienced so many good-byes; it was heartbreaking. We felt ashamed of how many of the immigrants were treated by our government and by some of the Americans they came in contact with. But there were also some really wonderful teachers shown who made a big difference. This is an amazing documentary series and I hope it will be shown widely in schools and to many different church groups and other organization here in the U.S. The strength and resilience shown in the face of the incredible hardships just to get into this country was amazing. It was inspiring and made us feel humble. Thank you to the producers for having the courage to envision such an enormous project, and to the directors and crews for sticking with it for so many years through what must have been very difficult circumstances.

wayne Ivey
Naima is doing more for peace between the Jewish people and the Palestinian people than her husband is: She is caring for and loving the children (who are Jewish) who are going to grow up and remember the love of a Palestinian woman for them. Can they treat Palestinians as their enemy having known her? I doubt it. By showing her neutrality without hate, she is furthering the Palestinian cause in a powerful way that is very fruitful.

Marina Del Rey CA
Outstanding educational program!! Bravo!! So emotional and a big eye opener to an American. I wish this could be a requirement for all school children throught the nation to learn to appreciate their lives, their surroundings, their blessings, and how the majority of the rest of the world, right next door even live and go through here in our country. I can't say enough!! I hope there' more to come still!!

this show was very informative and it should be repeated again in the future. every american citizen should watch this and realize how lucky we are living in this country.

funmi johnson
boston mass
I want to thank pbs for airing such moltivating program as an immigrant from nigeria i can relate to what these people are going through because i have gone through it myself i cant blame them for saying things this country at times can be fraustrating for we immigrants because of the situation of things but it takes understanding to get through these things.I just hope that through this airing people will begin to see immigrant in awhole diffrent light.

The new Amerians are one of the best tv documentaries I have seen! I just couldn't stop crying during the program!

As one of the "new Americans" my self,I can realy feel and understand what are each of those people going trough.I think an immigrant experiance is one of most exeptional moments that anyone can posibly face in life.It takes tremendous amount of courage and feith to leave your country and beloved ones to persuade your dream.Each of the people in the program are exceptional human beings and I will kep them in my prayers.

As we face many dificulties most people don't even dream of , we are becoming stronger and uncovering the parts of our selves we never knew exist.And as we get to know better our own personality, we are becoming to change the world we live in. We are buildind pices of our own self in the country we came helping it become more beautiful.America is the country of great oportunities that are not apperent to us when we just come in and we strugle for life.But as we adapt more and become more familiar with the system, America reaveles more of its choices.It is very important that we don't lose our streinght and courage and to countinoue to educate ourselves.

Special thanks to all who are responsable for making this project. Great job!You are helping us realize that even thou we came from such a different places of this world, we are so much more similar.Please do countinoue with the series like this. Thanks PBS! God bless all the people involved in this program!

jackie beck
rochelle illinois
I am an amercian citizen who has never understood the immigration process and has never been interested in history or events around the world. I happened to be flipping through the channels one night and came across this documentary and somehow became so interested in how it was for others coming over to this country. It was something I would normally never watch and it was heartwrenching to watch the struggles of all the families. I wish I could tell them that a great deal of Americans are also going through the struggles of "making it" and trying to raise our families and make money. It's everyone's dream, Americans also. I just feel so bad for the Mexican girl who is not in school and working in the field. That is just so selfish of the mother to have moved the family when the kids were all so happy. That is not American to be forced to work in the fields. Just because the mother is not educated does not mean her kids have to follow. Thank you for something so real and interesting.

Elena Cortez
Reedley , Ca
Thank you for such an awesome documentry. My family and i immigrated to the U.S. I understand some of the struggles that immigrants have to face. I was especially touched by the flores family.
Thank you,

santa clara, ca
puts things in perspective...
Great Documentary

Forest Newcomer
Lakewood, CO
An absolutely fascinating program! Thanks to PBS for broadcasting it. A program like this would never make commercial television.

What an AMAZING program. I was glued to the television for each episode, often in tears. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we were exposed to people when they are actually going through these experiences rather than long after so we might be able to offer assistance? I hope seeing this makes all viewers think twice about their attitudes towards people on an every day basis -- you NEVER know what other people are going through. It made me thing how much a random act of kindness really means.

Friendswood, TX
I started watching..and could not move away. Immigration is such a political thing these days, all about assimilation. these stories brought it home. I must say that the imigrants of the potato(e) famine so many years ago felt the isolation, loss of family and culture identification the same. The promise is bewildering, but I do believe it takes so much work. And, you might not get it all. Being a granddaughter of Swedes, German, Scots, then you get to throw in American Indians. My parents, and Grandparents were never promised anything u would not work for.

Dawa Lama
Thank you PBS. This is a wonderful program about new immigrants. Although, personally I had only good experiences in this country, I understand the hardship many immigrants face. We all must understand what people say when they are under difficult situations.

I also want to suggest to PBS to do a similar program on Tibetan immigrants. In 1992, America helped relocate thousand Tibetan refugees and their families to the US and many of them are born in this country. Since then, other Tibetans like myself have immigrated under different circumstances.

Bloomington, Indiana
I have really enjoyed watching this show for so many reasons.

I have been feeling very homesick and have been dealing with my own little culture shock after moving from the west coast of America to the Midwest. I realize that I have been such a wimp. These families have gone through so much!

One family in particular made me stop and think about what I want and why. I've been wanting to move closer to my family in California(I think it's my Japanese ancestry influence. Well, that and members of my family making it clear they want us to move back too). But after watching the episode where the mother has the whole family move to be near her sister at the expense of her husband and children. It made me feel like I was looking at myself. It has made me feel better about tolerating life in the Midwest. Thanks

College Station, Texas
This is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. It truly captivated me. It was heartening to see the resolve in each of the immigrants, against all the hardships they faced. Most of us take things for granted. We never know what it is to struggle for basic amenities like shelter, education etc. Anybody who watches this program would realize how lucky and fortunate most of us. Watching the show was a humbling experience. This makes me realize that there are a lot of people who are not able to get basic education not because they are unwilling but due to circumstances much beyond their control. Hopefully all of us make the best use of the opportunities we have and also help too.

i really think that more programming like the new americans should be played. i feel sad that one of the girls has to work the fields instead of being in schoool, where she could maybe secure a better life for her family. i feel that if the united states opened its borders and had less of a racial capitalist view we can have a more productive and profitable u.s. if we open the border we can avoid families from being seperated and forgotten. thanks for letting me post my opinion.

Cleveland, Ohio
I happened by this broadcast by accident. I think everyone in the United States should see this documetary. It should be incorporated into learning plans in our schools to better understand some of the other cultures and to see them as human beings just like we are. We take for granted lots of things in our country. For me, there are so many things we may ignore as Americans when it comes to viewing people who have different ideologies and cultures than ours, and to realize in our society, with it's media and political rhetoric, how easy it is to stereotype others just because they are different. They followed these people for years focusing on the transition from leaving their homeland for what they thought would be better opportunities in the U.S. and following what they did once they got here and how there vision of the U.S. is so diffenent from the reality. In my opinion, most still seemed better off. This video is very enlightning and I recommend it highly.

New York, NY
Well, what can I say, I have left my TV set permanently on PBS, and it was the best TV decision I have made. I appreciate the effort of PBS to air programs that represent varying, enriching and intriguing points of view. A step closer to pluralism, not just mere tolerance. Kudos to PBS.

I can definitely relate to many of the views and stories told in this documentary; I, myself is a recent immigrant to this nation; though I have been here many years, the experience, exhilaration, frustration, of new discoveries are still fresh in my mind.

It is very, very difficult to adjust to a new place, new culture, new religious and political environment. I had a difficult time understanding some issues in this country, and I have grown to admire and adore countless aspects of America and I absolutely understand some of the so-called "criticisms on America." But I do not think that criticism is a sign of hatred, or anti-anything. It is a mode of thought, and can definitely be valid, and one can definitely take it, think and reflect a moment, and see where it is coming from. Every country--believe it or not, this includes America--has good and bad points, you take the good points and relish them, and as for the bad points, you try to make them better. For example, I am always disturbed by the statistics of a recent study (don't remember the source, sorry) that people in America (myself included) spent the greatest amount of time at work! When the computer engineer from Bangalore said that he had turned into an American because he worked all the time, I completely indentified with him because about 5 years ago, I've turned into a workaholic.

One of the "side-effects" of my move to America is that I am able to appreciate the cultures of the world even more, because as I learn more about American history, I can see the contributions in the past by many ethnicities and nationalities. And also, from where I am standing, I try to build mini-bridges between America and other countries by relating good and positive experiences here and the country that I came from. We are all mini-ambassadors, in a way.


Kent Boveroux
Appleton, WI
I, too, was captivated by the New Americans series, as it managed to open some amazing windows into a series of experiences that I have never personally encountered.

I do have an issue that perhaps other respondents could comment on. I have long believed that a key reason for people from other countries and cultures would come to America would be for economic opportunity. In my opinion, one of the keys to such opportunity (and, I believe, one of the factors that has made America the economic success that it is) is the entrepreneurial spirit. Yet I didn't see any immigrants or even would-be immigrants voicing the opinion that they wanted to come to America in order to start their own companies here.

One entrepreneur joined Mary Kay, but that wasn't the driving reason why she came here. Anjan had a passing comment on starting a company back in India. Has America marketed itself, perhaps through Hollywood, as a place where you seem to be able to enjoy the fruits of risk-taking (streets paved with proverbial gold) without mentioning that arguably the greatest potential for economic success lies in companies that you start and own yourself? I don't mean to open a discussion about the pros and cons of capitalism, but rather a discussion of how expectations about America were formed in other lands (and perhaps whether this country should try to do anything to influence such expectations).

West Salem Wisconsin
Immigrants don't understand how hard you have to work here in the USA, no matter what or who you were back home. It has been the same for all who moved here; the Irish, the Germans, the Greeks, Slavs, English, Swedes, Chinese or Finns. Life is tough for immigrants for awhile. I'm also struck by how the immigrants are so little interested in America as an idea other than a place to get rich, or meeting people born here. To them, it's just Times Square, Disneyland, etc. We should all be aware of civics government and history more, natives and immigrants alike. And everyone gets a taste of humility when working for a living--even the Indian man who was going to get rich in Silicon Valley. I found the wisdom of his father mixed with snobbery. He knew nothing of Americans, had probably never met any, and had a "low opinion" of them, and an elevated opinion of Indians and especially his son. The wife had low status in the family, it is sad to see that the husband/son was all -important. We all have approximately the same abilities -- no one people are superior to any others -- the great experiment of this country is to do the best you can and be tolerant of everyone else, be curious about other cultures, and bloom wherever you are planted. It is easy to look back over your shoulder and miss home, but home never is the same when you go back anyway.

David Bednarczuk
Hibbing Minnesota, USA
I would like to compliment everyone who had a hand in producing this monumental television series. You have produced some of the highest quality programming I have ever seen. We saw every minute of the series and would not have missed a minute, except when nature called. Just a slight criticism, couldn't you have structured a minute break every hour so that we would not have to break away? Congrats, and I hope the awards follow your magnificent work!

I enjoyed the program each night and would love for you to follow other families. However, I have to say that the program made me sad to think that people from other countries have this Hollywood view of America. People here have to work hard and overcome tribulations. I didn't really like the way the Nigerian immigrants seemed so disgusted with our American ways. He kept saying that being in America was his worst period, yet he was willing to stay and partake in our Medicaid system, healthcare system, employment system, education system, etc. He could just as easily immigrate to another country as he did America. I don't mean to feel sort of used, it just seems like he did a lot of complaining. I kept wanting to say "get with the program fella, if your not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem"
Maybe I shouldn't feel that way, but many American born people struggle and just get over it.

Bob Barron
In 1975 I was making a motorcycling tour of Mexico. I got into a bad accident near Tampico; the driver of a rich man was traveling at 70 miles an hour when he hit my nearly stopped bike. The rich man got out of the car and cursed me for makiing him late. I was lying on the highway next to my smashed bike. My knee was damaged and I couldn't walk without assitance. I only had a few dollars and knew only a few words of Spanish. My bike was impounded and I was supposed to pay a big fine to get the wreckage back. I was frightened and in pain most of the time, nevermind the sight of my destroyed bike.

Somehow, a local family learned of my plight. They took me in and cared for me. They helped me get some cash from the rich man and helped me bribe the right person to get my bike back. Days would go by when I had no idea of what people around me were talking about. I was like a child. Family members treated me with compassion and respect. It was no big deal to them; it was normal for these people to share whatever they had. Several months later, I rode my patched together bike back to Minnesota.

I learned what it was like to be a stranger in a bewildering country and dependent on the kindness of others. I thought of that experience as I watched the Flores family stuggle to make their way in my country. I prayed that they were being treated with the same kindness that a Mexican family extended to me.

Jane Touchet
Woodbridge, VA
I am so very grateful to the producers of this wonderful series, truly a gift to America. I work with a group of health care workers from Ghana. This series has helped me appreciate their struggle and to recognize that we all want what is best for our families, we all want respect and appreciation of our efforts,and we all want fairness and a reward for our hard work. I found it heartbreaking to hear Israel come to the sad recognition that his goal had changed from getting ahead, to just hanging on. I have faith that he and his family will prevail and find happiness in America. I also shared the heartbreak and disappointment of the oldest Mexican daughter, who lost sight of her dreams in a California lettuce field, and of the Indian man who lost his job with the dot com bust. The series afforded us a view of the rich cultural gifts each immigrant brings to our great melting pot. This should be required viewing in all American high schools. Bravo!

Barbara Richardson
One can relate even generations later. I feel all new paths in life can relate to the stories and lives we viewed in this remarably filmed program. In marriage, and moves, I too, have felt some of what is shared. New things, confusion , sadness to leave family and renewed hope and strengthened resolve to make it.

one of the most profond and touching documentarry I have seen in a long time.I was feeling their pains and joys,after the first series I was waiting all day for the next one!!!!!!!!!

Being a new americain myself the last 4 years have been very tough emotionnely on me it's very hard to adapt, leave your country familly and fiends and come to a new country when you don't speack the language. But after a while with God's willing I finnally adapted myself and seeing all the struggle and strenght of those people give me the courage to go forward and one day like all of the kids in the film feel like home, feel like an american!

thanks again for that great program

Joel Esquer
Orlando Florida
This is one of the Best documental I have ever seen, in my life. It really Impact me in many ways and change completely my perspectives of Life as an immigrant in this country, It gave me hope, faith, and the courage to keep ahead working hard for my goals. Nothing comes easy; you have to work for it.

After seen this program I can appreciated more the opportunity of been here, with out forgetting where I come from, Mexico. And the beautiful people I left behind and specially my family. I learn how bless I am for this Job I have and all those things I dint see before I watch this program.

Wonder how can we keep contact with our favorite families in the program? As you can assume mine were the Mexican family and the Palestinians. God bless each of them.

I really want to thank PBS and all the personal that put this together, for your service and for such a great program. Thank you very much.

amy mitchell-washington
summerville, SC
I have been glued to my television for the past 2 nights. The producers and editors have done an absolutely phenomenal job in presenting this piece of work. I myself am second generation American and very proud of both my Latino heritage and my African-American ancestry. America is an awesome place, and having travelled to other parts of the world it is representative of a place like no other. Even with that said, it is a place of great struggle, compromise and even great disappointment. My grandfather never allowed my uncle and father to speak Spanish outside of the home because he feared that they would be treated differently. Being Latino and black in the early 40's was not the wonderful combination that is embraced more acceptably now in this country. So much my ancestors had to give up to assimilate in this country. So much that can never be gotten back. However, I am blessed beyond imagination and I owe everything to those who toiled before me.

San Francisco, CA
"The New Americans" was totally captivating. The stories were narrated beautifully, and it was touching to see how the different "New Americans" adapted to their new homeland over time. I am a first generation immigrant from India who came to the US for graduate school, and now live in the SF Bay area with my family. I could relate to many of the new immigrants' stories, even though they spanned the entire socioeconomic spectrum. Hats off to all of these folks for their hope and optimism and their desire to build a better life against huge adversities. Thanks to PBS for this wonderful documentary; it easily ranks among the best programs I have watched on TV.

What a wonderful, thought-provoking documentary. We need this kind of programming now, more than ever. Thanks for proving once again why public broadcasting is so invaluable.

Kunle Oyesola
Baltimore, Maryland
I am a fifteen year old Nigerian immigrant. The only reason that I am in this country, is because of faith and destiny. The document that brought my mother and I to to this country, was about to roll into an open sewer, but because of curiosity, I decided to pick up that big white envelope. If i had not picked up that envelope, I doubt that I would be in this country. This country has exposed me to things, people and places that I might otherwise have have recieved.

This show chronicles everything that my mother and I went through in our early years in the states. Similar to the Mexican family, my mother decided to move from New Yor to Maryland, because she wanted a better job and home. Despite the problems that America has, living here has exposed me to the idea of what people can do when they work together, and the importance of giving back to a community that one has taken away so much from.God Bless you for putting out such a great program, and I hope that you will do more shows like this.

Gail Daniels
Lawrence, Kansas
I have been lucky in the last 24 years to have met and worked with many immigrants to the United States. Many of these people are from Africa. I worked many years as a CNA in nursing homes, and recently this is a field that many new to the country work in. Quite a number of these people were professionals in their country. I am always amazed at how hard they work, and how little they complain about the petty stuff of life. I have learned so much from them. I feel glad that I live in a city with people from other cultures, and have had the opportunity to become friends with people from other countries. They are what the USA needs to inject more spirituality in our increasingly materialistic society.

Abby Shepard
Commerce TX
When Karm was born, I cried while my own son slept nearby in our bed. This baby Karm represents the strength of his family and the hope of all immigrants. I got online immediately, wanting to find a way that I could help or participate in the lives of new immigrants. I'm an American, born in the Phillipines to American parents. My son's father is a chronic wanderer who chooses to not live in America with me and my son. I am a university student and am studying Spanish. In July I will go to Spain with my son. There are so many threads in each individual's life that connects us to other people in the world. This program reinforces my hope to touch and experience the lives of others.

Rocky Hill, CT
I really enjoyed the program. I was stuck to the TV throughout the program, as the real stories of the brave immigrants tried to make their lives in the US. I am also an immigrant from Africa and could associate with everyone on the program.

The common theme that most immigrants face is that if you do not have money when you arrive in this country, it is incredibly difficult to have a decent standard of life. And only hard work and true sacrifice will get you the real American dream.

Watching this program reminds all immigrants that have made a better life for themselves, that they are many others still struggling and should not be forgotten.

Abby Ladin
Bloomington, Indiana
I sit at my computer and try to come up with words of praise that do not sound trite. The gift of this program was the mountain of emotion, raw and real and complex and necessary. I've had more good cries the past three nights than in at least as many months. Thank you for placing those families and their stories in my life.

Krish Shetty
Roslyn Heights, New York
Dear Producers:

You have created a masterpiece. You gave me such a clear glimpse of oneness of the souls, and so beautifully, I could not control my emotions at times. I admire you for your skills; you have brought out the truth about how so many immigrants deal with difficult challenges. It was absolutely gorgeous and entertaining to watch. Amazing work! My Oscar goes to you!

New Americans is not an appropriate title. At least in the case of the Indian man because he was here as a guest worker, a non immigrant. The documentary was inaccurate and very average. I am surprised that PBS would carry something so average. This was not quality programming.

Tracy Okorie
Findlay, OHIO
This was by far the best reality show I have ever seen before. I was really touched to see other people with similar experiences as we had when we moved to live in America. As a Nigeria, I was moved by the story of the Nwidors, to a great extent. The guy was a Chemical engineer who came to America hoping for great opportunities only to find that life here is harder than he initially thought. There there was the indian couple, who came only to move back because of the recent economic troubles. All the families and people shown were great and I could take a whole day to talk about what I learnt. I wish PBS would continue with such programs and we hope to see more of The New American Stories in the new future. I greatly commend the work and I hope to see more stories from Africa and Asia. I loved it.

Dallas TX
It is one of the most realistic documentary that portrayed the struggling of immigrant?s family. As a teen immigrant 13 years ago, I could surely co-relate myself to the program. I would like to thank all the people that brought this quality program to PBS. Thank you.

In The United States today I believe we are seeing a melting pot of so many cultures that it is creating a set up for disaster. I cant see how civil differances will not erupt, it seems to be a current trend already here in California. Having said that, I watched the show last night and was deeply touched by all the stories of the families. I got the impression that all of them would much rather live in there own countries if only they could make a living there. It appears that they don't want to be here at all but are forced here out of a desperate situation. I applaud them for making a decision to take such a dramatic step to improve there situations but on the same note I am shall we say, angered! It seems harsh, but I love my country just as they love theres. I feel like I'm being used and abused by immigrants. What I feel is this. If people want to come here to better there lives, that's great. but I want them to respect America for who and what this country is. Become an American and honor the flag, the culture and the people. Serve the country and embrace it. Do not long to return to where they fled from and say things like this is not my home or my country. Make it your home and your country. The country was founded by Immagrants. (Unless we were to discuss the American Indians..a whole other issue). If there not happy here, go home and see what they can do to make a differance in the country they do want to live in. Help rebuild and re-educate those countries so that they can stay and live where they want to be. If they want to be In America and truly love the country...Welcome, with all my heart.

i have watched your program for the last 2 nites about "the new americans". i can not understand for the life of me why our government continues to let immigrants into the united states. i understand that they live in grave conditions but i feel that we have enough people that live here already. i know one of the families featured was complaining because he could no longer get medicad. well my husband and both can not get medicad period. the excuse was we made to much really burns me up that people from other countries can come live in the us and get all the help they need but we americans if we go out there and bust our butts can not get any help if something happens to one of our family members such as one becomes unemployed or our spouse dies. the government needs to take all that money they are wasting and donate it to the countries that need it but also supply them wtih help on how to improve their living conditions such as teach them to plant crops or dig wells for them so they will have water. thank you for reading this! susan hunter

Julie Allen
Austell, Georgia
I was deeply moved by the stories presented in this amazing series. Not only has it changed my views of what it means to immigrate to America, but it has made me reflect on what it means to be an American. While watching the program I felt torn..sometimes very proud to live in this country..and also ashamed at our treatment of other people around the world. This is television at its best. Thank you to the producers, filmakers, and especially the families who shared their stories with me.


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