| Migrant’s culture in host country Culture is generally accepted way of doing activities in a society which includes beliefs, symbols, values, behaviour and social organization. Migrants adopt and mix with new culture since culture change in inevitable. There are certain arguments for maintaining one’s native culture in a new country. However, it is a defended that migrants should adopt the host country’s culture. This essay will consider the arguments for retaining or not retaining ones culture in the new country.
To begin with, people have developed their own way of living in the country of origin and they are accustomed to doing activities in the local ways. One of habits is the cooking styles. Migrants are usually middle aged people who find it difficult to adopt new ways of cooking because they are used to and experience in their traditional ways. To mark the special events celebrated back at home, food is cooked as it is done at home country. For instance, cook islanders cook in earth oven which gives a sense of togetherness and feeling for there culture (Manderson, 1986).
Therefore, the migrants continue with their traditional ways to keep the culture alive and enjoy the same taste as home country. However, it is not always possible to practise such cooking in foreign countries. Migrants usually rent a flat where ground is not always available. Place where it is vacant, it is prohibited to dig others compound. Lighting open fires in city area would create problems to residents, ringing of fire alarm and even pollution which is a major benchmark in urban centres.
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To add another point, the visitors more from the host country who will prefer food they are used to eating such as those prepared in grill and electric appliances. For example, to serve island food to European would be dishonour to their culture (Manderson, 1986). As a result, migrants strongly need to adapt to host cooking style to overcome such problem. Another cultural aspect which is argued on is traditional ceremonies and festival. The emigrants retain these practises as one need to perform a ritual (which includes births, deaths and marriage) in the traditional to fulfil the requirements.
For example, Indian migrants celebrate Diwali (Hindu festival of lights) all over the world. . Constant practise of the ceremonies compel the dominant group to adopt the changes such as in case of Fiji where Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday is given a public holiday as the Muslims (a minority group in Fiji) brought the festival during indentured system. On the other hand, it is difficult to perform such religious activities since it may cause distraction to host people or its value is not recognised in the new society. For instance, holiday given in home country is not observed in the host country.
Moreover, the resource (offerings and ornaments) are not available in the country of migration. For instance, Fiji Indians are not able to play with fire crackers because it is embargo goods (The Fiji Times, 1st November 2008, p. 1). Another example is that indigenous Fijians kill cattle during death ceremony at home, but in the most developed countries, animal can only be killed in abattoirs. Consequently, this hindrance prevents the migrants to practise their culture in other countries. These constraints compel them to follow the host culture.
The next cultural feature which the migrants retain is the language. Migrants retain their language to maintain the identity of ethnicity and pass the language to younger generations. Knowing one’s own language, the person can read the religious scripts which are mostly written in vernacular. Words used in translation not always carry the same meaning as in the original writing. Maintaining the language enable the person to better communicate with people of home country. Thus, for these reasons the migrants preserve the native language.
On the other side, it is very important for the person to understand the language of host culture to communicate and socialise with the people. Understanding the host language prevents communication breakdown between two groups of people. (Clifford, 1973). Situation where communication is a problem, the migrants will encounter culture shock and segregation in the society. Moreover, if person understand the host language, it would be easier to use the facilities such as railway timetables where directions are written in the host language.
In conclusion, there are strong reasons as why to retain or why not to retain one’s culture in the host country. However, a person needs to change the traditional culture and adopt the new ways to be adopted in the new society. A changing culture will enable a person to overcome culture shock and segregation. It is strongly argued that a person should change the culture and adopt the new ways of living. Every culture is susceptible to change; therefore, a person should be flexible enough to adopt new ways.
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