We have a lot of delinquency problems with the youth over here.: Becoming Minnesotan

Tashi Lhewa, c.2005.
  • Name - Tashi Lhewa
  • Age at interview - 24
  • Gender - Male
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview - 08.28.2005
  • Tibetan Americans camping in Minnesota, August 22, 2004.
    Soccer tournament at the Tibetan Midwest Picnic, Minneapolis, July 3, 2005.

    Essential Question

    Becoming Americans: What does it mean to be an American?

    Problems in America: What could have helped this person’s adjustment in the U.S.?

    Words to look for


    Background Information

    When China invaded Tibet in the 1950s many Tibetans fled to the neighboring countries of India or Nepal.  They live in refugee camps or in Tibetan communities that have been established. Although there are hardships living in India or Nepal, children are surrounded by other Tibetan families and parents do not have to work as many hours away from their children.  Some Tibetans fear that once families immigrate to the U.S. their children lose their Tibetan identity.

    To learn more about Tibetan history and culture, visit our Tibetan Community page.

    • Chapter 1

    Download Tashi Lhewa 8
    1:8 Minutes | 1.09Mb


    Narrator: Tashi Lhewa (TL)

    TL:  I think it’s crucial for parents to spend time with children. Because in the six years I’ve lived in Minnesota, and even my two years in Montana, I’ve noticed, I’ve seen that generally the parents that spend time with their children, the children turn out to be better. We have a lot of delinquency problems with the youth over here. They are involved in the — get into altercations and there’s a police involvement. So there are a lot of problems that stem from the fact that parents don’t spend nearly as much time with the children.

    Back in India the children stayed with their parents 24/7. And over here it’s an impossibility if both parents have to work. And also, I mean people — there is a lot more incentives and temptations here that the children didn’t face back in India. So I think it’s crucial. And I think it was the key ingredient for — even if Tibetans want to hold onto any sense of language or culture or pass down something on to the children, I think it’s key that they spend time with their children. Even if it comes at the cost of maybe the inability to work or make some more money.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun:  A dispute or fight carried on with heat or anger.


    Adjective:  Being necessary for determining the outcome or future of something; extremely important.


    Noun:  The arts, customs, and habits that characterize a particular society or nation.


    Noun:  Misconduct or criminal behavior.


    Noun:  Something that is not able to be done.


    Noun:  Something that motivates, rouses, or encourages; a bonus or reward (often money).


    Noun:  The act or engaging or including thoroughly or the state of being engaged or included.


    Adjective:  Indispensable; important.


    Verb:  To be caused or derived; to originate.  (stems, stemming, stemmed)


    Noun:  Something attractive or tempting.


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access]. http://www.mnhs.org/immigration
    nid: 140