When most people hear the term alien they think of little green men with big eyes or Star Trek. But alien has another important meaning. It is a person who is foreign or excluded from the dominant culture in which they live. Immigrants are all aliens in the new countries where they settle. We looked at several different viewpoints on aliens and their experiences.
?Christmas Eve? is the story of a Mexican family in Texas. The mother decides that they should celebrate Christmas the American way this year instead of the traditional Mexican way. The mother decides to buy the children toys on Christmas Eve, even though she does not leave her own yard. When she ventures out to go downtown, her fears and anxieties quickly take over. She becomes disoriented in a store and accidentally leaves with merchandise, so she is accused of stealing. Because she does not live in the American culture daily, the mother has remained an alien and so is frightened by her encounters in the strange land.
The concept of aliens also enters into this story at the beginning. As a Mexican family, they usually receive gifts on the 6th of January instead of December 25th. Living in America, they are exposed to the local tradition, and the children demand presents on Christmas instead of the Epiphany. This creates the conflict of maintaining their Mexican traditions or assimilating to part of the American culture.
?Lindo Jong: Double Face? is a woman?s recount of her first experiences in America after leaving China. She explains that she paid an American-born Chinese woman to provide her with information to find her way around in America. She soon finds out that life in America is tough. Because of her speech limitations, she can only get jobs that aliens receive,