Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Stillwater County enjoys diverse cultures

When we first moved here over 20 years ago, I was struck by the unexpected diversity of people and cultures in Stillwater County. Not necessarily evident at first glance, this diversity goes back generations.
Unfortunately, the native Indians have gone, but there are many first generation immigrants from four continents right here in Stillwater County.
The oldest when I first arrived were the WW II war brides from Australia, England and France. We now have first generation immigrants from Germany, South Africa, Malaysia, the Philippines, China, India and Peru. Pretty amazing for a rural Montana county!
These people came here for many reasons: love and marriage, a better life, good jobs, or just because this really is the last best place. For the most part, they have been warmly welcomed and accepted into our community and in return they have brought a wealth of personal resources, talents, and experience.
While many are more afraid of strangers than they once were, we should pause and reflect on what our past experience has been and how positive it remains.
For the most part, we have followed the injunction to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us” and it has been very successful for all.

Kathleen Ralph
Columbus