My husband grew up in this area. He had friends from all different cultural backgrounds. Growing up he had friends with names like Brazowski, Haddad, Ching, Garcia. This is a very multi cultural area. I think it influenced the way he grew up looking at the world. It opened his eyes to bigger things. It opened his mind to different cultures, languages, and even accents. Coming back here to where he grew up was quite nostalgic to him.
Now I am raising my own children here, and I find that they are having the same experiences. One of my son's friends is a Sikh. One is a Muslim. Some are African American, Latino, Chinese, and Korean. It's so nice to live in an area where race or ethnicity doesn't inhibit friendship. I'm glad that my son hears different languages spoken in his friend's homes. I'm glad that he is exposed to different religions, cultural habits, and foods. He has even picked up many foreign words, and the spanish class he is taking is greatly helped by the practice he gets with his friends. Overall, I think he is getting much the same childhood that my husband had.
I grew up in Texas in a community that was predominantly white. The middle school I went to had a handful of Latino students, and I think one african american student. That was the extent of the cultural diversity. I think it was a shock for me to enter the big world and have to adapt to different cultures, peoples, languages, accents, and foods.
I'm glad that my children are able to follow in their father's footsteps instead of mine. I'm glad that they can have their minds opened to the truth that this world houses many different cultures, and that ours is but a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of the world. I'm glad they can learn tolerance and understanding. Sometimes we think about moving away, but then we realize that some education can't be bought, and our children are getting an education that they could get no where else.