Minnesota Immigrants: Preserving Culture

All immigrants to Minnesota brought their unique cultures and traditions as well as their hopes to make a better life for themselves and their families.

Minnesota's immigrants transported many things with them to their new home. They brought memories, stories, values, music, and traditional knowledge. They also carried artworks, traditional clothing, musical instruments, and family heirlooms.

Wherever the immigrants came from, or whenever they arrived, they have continued to celebrate their culture, history, and stories in their new communities, passing their cultural traditions down to following generations. Even as the younger people became more Americanized, they still valued their family traditions. They consciously chose which cultural aspects to preserve in an attempt to define their unique identity and honor their family’s past.

This exhibit shares examples of the cultural traditions of many immigrant groups that have been preserved in Minnesota. In telling these stories, the Minnesota Digital Library seeks to share with the world a broader view of what it means to be Minnesotan.

Wallblom sisters in Swedish costume, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Dance class at Hmong Cultural Center, St. Paul, Minnesota
Wycinanki with Doves and Flowers, Winona, Minnesota

To learn about the cultural heritage of Minnesota's immigrants, use the page links below.