"My Rockin' Ethiopian Sons"

As our Ethiopian sons became more and more Americanized, we worried about how much of their culture they were leaving behind.

Two Ethiopian brothers
Two years ago I was at a four-way stop, when the van began shaking. It was like an uneven load of wash about to abort its cycle. In the mirror I could see my sons, Yakob, 2, and Ayalkbet, 3, flailing their arms and legs in time to Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.," and, amazingly, Ayalkbet was singing along. I pondered the implications. He had memorized a song in English, even though he had no idea what the words ...

When my husband and I dreamed of raising bilingual children, we had no idea that one of their languages would be rock and roll.


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