Immigrants around the world have come together and introduced new cultures to make America what it is today. Rodriguez’s claim that assimilation is something that is a great thing and is bound to happen is accurate because of how culture is fluid. Assimilation is something that happens naturally because of how immigrant authors, such as himself, are sharing their immigrant stories with fellow immigrants and that immigrants themselves are learning about American culture.
Immigrant authors are sharing their immigrant stories with fellow immigrants. One of these immigrant authors is Richard Rodriguez and his text, “Blaxicans and Other Reinvented Americans.” In his writing, he talks about a story about a time when he noticed Laotian and Mexican children living next to each other. Rodriguez’s story talked about how these Laotian and Mexican children dislike one another. When he confronted one of the Laotian children to ask why they hated the Mexican children, he noticed that they were speaking in a Spanish accent (Rodriguez 18). This shows how culture is fluid, which means that both of the races can have an impact on one another. Another author is Amy Tan and her essay “Mother Tongue.” In her essay, she gives an overview of how she has assimilated into American culture. A key component that helped her assimilate was simply the use of standard English she had learned in school. This is because standard English was the language Tan used in order to help her mother, as well as herself in order to become a successful author. Immigrant authors are helping fellow immigrants assimilate into America.
Immigrants also assimilate to different cultures from things like learning about a new culture’s traditions, lifestyles, and food. In the novel “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri, Gogol’s mother, Ashima makes sandwiches with bologna and roast beef as well as letting him and his sister get what they want in the supermarkets (Lahiri pg 65). This helps them all assimilate because they are slowly getting used to the American lifestyle and food. Another example of cultural assimilation is at schools. When children from different countries migrate to the United States, they would only eat their own ethnic food. However, when they start schools, cafeterias only sell American foods, therefore those immigrants learn to get used to American food. This proves how immigrants can assimilate by learning about the American way of life. Although some people may disagree and say that assimilation is a bad thing. For instance, one may argue that new immigrants must assimilate into their new place because they have to be like everybody else and blend in which means that they will lose their distinctiveness.
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