Archive | November 27, 2011

USA no longer the Melting Pot

It has been said that America is a land of immigrants where all communities eventually discard the identity of their societies of origin to assume a single “American” identity.  To take it further, the American society was considered a pot in which the different cultures were expected to melt to form a distinct American identity.  The USA was considered a melting pot. In my readings of literature on and by Asian Americans I find that the immigrants themselves accepted this idea of America as the norm. Many Asian American parents have talked about the need to become “American” to the tune of even neglecting the teaching of one’s native language to their children.  Similarly, Chinese Americans have taken umbrage at the comment, “You speak excellent English” that they hear from Caucasian Americans because they feel that “English” is their identity, too.

 

That may have been the case in the past, including in the Sixties, the Seventies, the Eighties and even the Nineties of the last century.  But somewhere along the line there has been a distinct shift in the development of the American society.  With increased immigration, the propensity for these new communities to settle in comparatively compact societies, including the availability of a critical mass to establish culture promotional activities, the United States is now certainly on its way to become a multicultural society, if it has not already become one.  To give an anecdotal evidence, in my daily commute to work, the Metro (our version of the subway train) that I take displays a rainbow color of people, not just physically but even in the different languages that I hear.

 

Even if we look at the comparatively tiny population of Tibetan Americans, this trend of multiculturalism can be evident.

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