From the very beginning, the possibility of cultural assimilation — that during their extend stay abroad the boys could become Americanized — was a concern to the promoters of the Chinese Educational Mission (CEM). The host families and schoolteachers had taught the CEM boys all too well, for not only they were progressing rapidly through the American educational system, but they had also adopted many of the mores of contemporary American society. Many CEM boys also eagerly took to the American cult of masculinity and physical exercise which was so antithetical to the Chinese way of life. Many of the CEM boys became Christian and some developed interracial romances. The last indicator of the Americanization of the CEM boys was their weakening grip on their native language. Despite their growing involvement with Americans and the American way of life, the CEM boys did not go as far as to forsake their own country. They also kept in touch through letters with their families in China.
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