But many teens on the same page as their parents
When Daniel Popovic came home with a pierced eyebrow, his parents flipped out.
It was the last straw for the Serbian couple, who had bitten their lips throughout Popovic’s punk-clothing phase. He was forced to take the jewelry out.
"My mom does sometimes want me to conform to what’s normal back home where it’s more conservative. Which is a bit of a problem, because I dress kind of weird," the 16-year-old said with a proud grin, pointing to a quirky ear-flap toque.
"Yes, we have arguments over these kind of things, but mostly we’re pretty much on the same page," Popovic said. "My family’s thankful to be here in Canada. We came here because of the war (in the former Yugoslavia.)"
Asma Mohamed, 15, and her friend Safiya Ibrahim, 14, say their parents are open to more Western ideas. "I wear the hijab, but it was my decision," said Mohamed. "They’re cool with stuff because we talk so much about our culture and religion at home."
It’s the same strategy Mujtava Hossain uses with his parents.
After immigrating from Bangladesh, the 14-year-old says his parents were nervous about him interacting with some elements of Western culture.
"They see people in this country doing things like celebrating Christmas. Maybe I’d want to do that, but no."