Assimilation or Retaining Ethnic Identity
Assimilation or Retaining Ethnic Identity America was founded by a group of diverse immigrants. All immigrants are coming from different parts of the world such as Asia, Europe, Africa and Mexico and so on. Therefore, each person has his or her own culture, religion and beliefs.
Most of the people who are immigrants are non-English speaking and face struggles and numerous challenges to assimilate into American society. Millions of people have been discriminated due to skin color, religions, and beliefs, so it means that people face struggles with assimilation and acculturation.
One sure thing is people must understand others cultures when they fall in love with different races, or when they go to school at different countries. However, most of the people are not assimilating for their religion, and they are proud of being what they are. Love is blind. Love is the result of appreciating another’s goodness. So it is wonderful when people fall in love with each other. Love comes from emotion, so nobody can limit that one has to fall in love within the same race, especially in the United States where many different races are living together in the same land.
That is why it is not an odd thing that white men fall in love with Asian girls or black men fall in love with white girls. But if one falls in love with someone from another race he or she will have to learn and understand his or her culture to build a long term relationship. On December 25th 2005, Junot Diaz published in the New Yorker about “How to Date a Brown girl, Black girl, White girl or Halfie”. Many people like to read this, and most of the readers commented that it provided really useful tips for the first date with different race girls.
Before dating, the speaker Junot Diaz gives advice to the readers: “Clear the government cheese from the refrigerator”. Moreover, the speaker said “If she’s a white girl you know you’ll at least get a hand job. ” If a man dated the white girl, he could involve sexual activities. He needs to find out what she wants to do after dinner and spends the rest of evening as she likes. According to the Junot Diaz “If she’s a halfie don’t be surprised that her mother is white. ” The girl’s mother will be white or black or Asian, but he shouldn’t show the emotions of shocked and should say “Hi” to her mother friendly and smoothly.
If he doesn’t prepare well to find what she likes or what her culture, he might get broken-heart. Moreover, he will not get a happy relationship. Some people may argue that a good relationship is only based on the personality instead of his or her culture and history, and they don’t need to assimilate others. For example, a white guy’s date with Asian girl may involve sexual activities for the first date. As a result, she may be think he is a ridiculous and rude person, and she won’t meet again because Asian girl hardly ever involve sexual activities before she gets married.
Assimilation and acculturation are needed in some situations. According to the Migration World Magazine “Non-English speaking immigrants grew quickly in numbers”. Most of the immigrants from Southern, and Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa don’t know the English language well. They are struggling with learning English because it takes them a little bit long to speak frequently. In Latino Issue conservative blog, Josue Sierra discussed about getting good English speaking skills is essential for immigrants in education, jobs opportunities, and preventing crime.
The speaker says “If immigrants don’t speak English, chances are they won’t get very far from a low-level laborer positions”. Some immigrants are already graduated and have a higher education in their country, but they only get lower job positions in the United States because they can’t speak English well. The speaker also mentions “An immigrant who has learned English can also look forward to better paying work in their home country”. It means that the immigrants who want to go back home have a benefit by learning English. They can get a better salary than any other in their home country by knowing English well.
Some students find difficulties in college because teaching styles are different from their home town and self-study is essential for all students in the United States. For example, Burma which is situated in South East Asia, students are not allowed to argue with the teachers’ ideas. Arguing with teachers is rude and asking questions means students don’t understand the lessons. Moreover, teachers assume asking questions to them means they are not good at teaching, and it insults them. So most of the children are afraid to ask question even they don’t understand. These habits are hard to vanish when they are studying in the United States.
That’s why most Asian students are quiet in the class. Moreover, they have to study detail in text books and are not allowed to use their own idea. Next, “An immigrant that doesn’t speak English will be more hesitant to contact authorities when they are victimized, out of fear of not being understood”. Some of the international high school students have been bullied by English speakers. But they dare not to talk about it to their parents or teachers because they are afraid they can’t explain well. Sometimes, some non-English speaking girls get robbed, but they don’t dare talk to the police.
Above these reasons, it is better for immigrants to forget their own origins and try to assimilate the new language. Most immigrants can assimilate living style, wearing style and some cultures in a short time, but they hard to try to assimilate another religion. In the United States, Christian is 78. 4% including Protestant and Catholic; other religions are 4. 7% such as Jewish (1. 7%), Buddhist (0. 7 %), Muslim (0. 6 %), Hindu (0. 4 %), Unaffiliated (16. 1%), Humanism (0. 8%) according to U. S Religious Landscape Survey. A Muslim guy could marry with the Christian girl, even though; the girl or the guy hard to change their religion status.
Most of the children who were born to two different religions parents become Humanism. The United States is a democratic country and has freedom of religion and beliefs without government influence or interference. Even though, the country still has problems related to the religious beliefs. For example, in the abortion case, some Catholics don’t agree to destroy the pro-life as “Don’t kill Jesus’s children” because they assume that people is created by Jesus. For humanism and unaffiliated, they may think this abortion cases are the human right to destroy or not. People dare to die for their religions or their beliefs.
So many religion wars have occurred in the world. Another example of religious attack happened on September 11 in New York. Many people’s life lost and the rest of the families felt pain and suffer about this attack. Actually “Religion is not a way to pigeonhole someone,” Professor of Religion Bruce Lawrence said. “You can be very Muslim, but also be very American because you appreciate the freedom and opportunity of the country. Loyalty to one’s own background is an important part of being American. ” Conflict over Muslim immigrants occurs not only in the United States but also in Europe.
For example, in France, Muslims girls are banned by wearing chadors (head scarves) by French president. Moreover, in German schools, Muslims girls are asking to take the class of physical education class such as swimming or gym. According to Marion Berning, director of the Rixdorfer primary school in Berlin, Germany, “We have Muslim girls who say they don’t want to swim with the boys. It’s obvious the parents exert pressure on them, but [the parents] have to accept that coeducation is part of German schools. ” These kind of small conflicts lead to ethnic disunity and hostile communities in Europe.
In contrast to the European conception, assimilation in the United States “has always been much more flexible and accommodating and, consequently, much more effective in achieving its purpose,” according to Peter D. Salins, author of Assimilation, American Style. Different immigrants have different ideas of assimilation into American culture. People may get many new experiences and new ideas by assimilating, especially building good relationships and friendships. However, assimilating also has a drawback such as losing one’s own culture and traditions.
So immigrants should decide themselves what American cultures support them to have a better life if they assimilate. If they can have a better life due to assimilating into other cultures, they should go for it. Simultaneously, they should keep some value about their own cultures to say what they are. Works Cited G. McDonald , Hellen and R. Balgopal, Pallassana. “Conflicts of American immigrants: Assimilate or Retain Ethnic Identiy. ” Migration World Magazine. May-June 1998. Web. 9 November 2012. “Introduction to Immigration: Current Controversies. ” Immigration. Ed.
Louise I. Gerdes. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005. Current Controversies. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 10 Nov. 2012. Junot , Diaz. “How To Date A Brown Girl ( black girl, white girl, or halfie),” The New Yorker, 25 December 1995. Web. 10 November 2012. Sierra , Jouse. “The Important of English for Immigrants. ” Latino Issues, A Conservative Blog. 8 April 2007. Web. 9 November. 2012. “U. S Religious Landscape Survey. ” The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. 1615 L Street, NW Suite 700 Washington, DC 20036-50610, n. d . Web. 9 Novemeber. 2012.