Reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s essay, My Two Live, I got that the author, as an Indian-American, tried to define herself throughout her whole life. The changing of her feeling for her identity and the death of her parents and her bicultural experience changed her feeling for her identity from humiliating to confusing to accepting to cherishing. Lahiri wanted convey us that the bicultural things can be seen as a shifting equation and she used “one plus one” for instances. Basically, I agree with her notion. However, in my opinion, the result of the equation is not just zero or two.
It should be equal three or even bigger, when you really understand your great nation, United State of America. In one hand, I think most of people would very easy to lose their way when they are squeezed by two different cultures existing in their daily life. As the second generation of immigrants, my older cousin also had used to face this issue. When, he was a middle school student, he had avoided speaking Chinese, changing his hair’s color to yellow, and love to eat sandwiches and drink soda. Tried to do lot of things to make him seemed more “American”. Obviously, he is an American without any embellished.
But, he did not understand this at that moment. As a naive child, he just hoped he can looks more similar with others around him. At that time, one plus one, of course, smaller than two or even equal zero. In the other hand, along with the growing up, the more social experiences you collected, the deeper understanding of yourself, then you would find that the result of this equation bigger, not limited in two. Because two different cultures combined together is not a simply one plus one equation. It contains great potential and energy, like when carbon meets oxygen can explode incredible brilliancy.
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Actually, I am not so familiar with America history or the great persons of this nation. However, story of my elder cousin’s I would love to share. As I aforementioned, he had used to doubt himself. But now, his has already got the doctor degree and even published a paper in Science, one of the most top scientific journals in the world. I remember acknowledgment of his doctoral defence stated that he would love to thanks his dear grandma since to be a doctor is grandma’s dream. Following the willing of grandparents or parents is a very traditional thinking in
China. When persevering and enduring hardship, which comes from his family, meets critical and innovative coming from his American part, my cousin got an achievement. I think that beyond what one plus one equal two can include. So far, he hope his children can be teach by Chinese culture or even study in China someday, even if his wife is a White. I am not sure if this example reasonable, but this is what I really want to tell. Moreover, as a foreigner, from my sight of view, America is the one of most open and tolerant nations in the world. Democratic” and “Liberty” are two words what Americans the most proud of and pursuing.
Thus, when you are walking on a normal street in any city of US, you will find that really like walking in the United Nations. Citizens of the USA might have various colors of sinks, speak English with different accents, and wear sorts of clothes. What’s more, you can buy anything you want by yourself in spite of understanding nothing English. I think this interesting phenomenon just belongs with America. Therefore, unique and individual are very common and important value of America.
Everyone have an American dream, and everyone have the opportunity to achieve it. You can learn everything you like and grow individually. American culture comes from hundreds of cultures. The diversity of culture creates lots of advantages to the US, comparing with any other countries. All these above are the reasons why America, a country less than 300 years history, can be the greatest nation all over the world. Therefore, don’t be confusion because this is a part of America, what make it so amazing and fantastic.
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