Minden Press-Herald

Oct 01st

Minden the melting pot

Dear Editor

When did this happen? How did this start? Do you remember when Minden was this quiet, friendly little town, nestled in the Northwest corner of Louisiana? It seemed like most people were "homefolk." We are known as "The Friendliest Little City in The South," and "The City who gives more per capita to St. Jude, than any city in the United States."

For many years, we have benefited by people who have come from foreign backgrounds. All of a sudden it seems like we have become a microcosm of what is happening all over America. Our country has undergone great changes in its population, and our city is no exception.

First, came the local motels with their Indian descendants; Then in the last few years, more businesses have come to Minden.

The little strip mall across from McDonalds, houses a Vietnamese Nail Salon, then, there is a beautiful and skilled Korean seamstress, a friendly and tasty Donut shop owned by Cambodians, and a Chinese restaurant.

We currently have 4 Mexican Restaurants and a new Chinese Restaurant on Homer Road. Close to Minden Medical Center, we have a Deli, that is operated by a man who was born in Brazil, but has lived most of his life in The Middle East.

How do these people decide to come to Minden? Why would somebody from Cambodia decide to open a Donut store in Minden? I have checked out all of these places, and they seem to be flourishing. For some time I have seen at McDonalds, four of the men working to get the new Chinese restaurant ready. They speak no English, and I speak no Chinese. I take that back, one, besides giving me a cheerful high five, says, "I don't know."

Having lived in a foreign country (Brazil) for 35 years, I would like to pass on a few lessons that I learned to these who have come to our city with a foreign background.

1. Greet people with a friendly smile. That can overcome a lack of the ability to speak.

2. Learn how to say, "I am studying English;" That is a much better answer than to say, "I do not speak English."

3. Make an attempt to learn the English language. if you are going to live here, It will make your life much more enjoyable.

4. Get involved with the community. Participate in those events that the community offers. Get involved in events like The Annual St. Jude Auction. I know that Jay Cumar, for instance, has gotten involved in Community Affairs; besides, it is good for business.

Minden welcomes you with open arms and we want you to become a vital part of our community.

Bill Ichter






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