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Camelia Alaoui

Miss Holly

English 028

01 November 2018

Immigration and culture, should they keep it, or abandon it?

Who hasn't dreamt of traveling the world and meeting new people? Well living in an an society

with immigrants from all over the world can make your dream come true without even moving.

America is a well known country of cultural diversity. Although living in a multicultural society,

cultural diversity is still a controversial issue in America, some people claim that it has a

negative impact on society and that immigrants should leave their culture and assimilate to the

American culture, other say that immigrants should stick to their culture and embrace it because

it causes a positive impact. I personally agree with the second statement, as an immigrant we

should always be proud of our cultural differences and not be ashamed of it.

Multiculturalism makes a positive impact on society

On many levels, immigrants who retain their culture make a huge impact on society, the

majority of these changes are positive. Whether it’s on the individual side, the society in general,

the political, and economical side, multiculturalism bring many benefits to every aspect of

society. The first thing that we will be talking about is how multiculturalism helps produce an

open minded society, when immigrants enter a new country, they not only come physically but

they also bring with them a piece of their home, their culture, traditions and/or religion, the

native people of that country starts to be curious about these new aspects, new phenomenons,
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some start researching about them because of the unusual appearance that they are not used to,

others become closer to those immigrants, and those immigrants start showing a part of their

culture in shops, restaurants, street music, it attracts native people and this is when cultural

exchange happens, if we talk about americans for example, we would see that the american

society becomes more and more open minded trying new things, listening to new music, tasting

new food,learning new languages, and of course enriching their education by learning about

foreign cultures and religions, therefore, this blend of all different kinds of cultures makes people

get out of their routine, and open their minds on many levels and results into making the

American culture richer. In his book, Schmitt Jacob states “​Over time these traditions may merge

with the cultural practices of other native or immigrant groups, producing popular fusion

cuisines, such as Korean barbecue tacos in the United States or currywurst (curry-flavored

sausages) in Germany, or hybrid forms of music, including zydeco (a mix of Afro-Caribbean,

French, and American musical styles popularized in the US state of Louisiana) or grime (a

combination of Jamaican dancehall, British electronic, and American hip-hop styles developed in

the United Kingdom)” in other words, this multiculturalism and cultural exchange results ​ most

of the time into an American-foreign mix or fusion, that changes everything in society.

The second thing that we will be talking about is the positive impact of multiculturalism on the

society, communities, individuals, and the relationships between immigrants and the natives. In

neighborhoods, we can see children from every race playing together learning about each other

cultures and accepting it, in school we can see the same thing, children having the urge about

learning new things, it brings many benefits to have open minded children and seeing them

wanting to learn about new things at such a young age, it expands their imagination and
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increases their intelligence, it brings them together and therefore makes their parents closer too,

and it makes diverse communities, and while many other people thinks about this fact the

contrary, cultural diversity and a heterogeneous society brings mostly a positive impact, i have

seen myself the many benefits of cultural diversity and exchange in school with my cousins in

elementary school, they have friends from many ethnicities, armenian, mexicans, asians, and

whenever they come home they would ask many questions about those countries and their way

of life, they even say “when i grow up, i wanna go to mexico and live there because they have

good food” and it also made my aunt and their parents closer and when they invite each other,

each of them learn a new thing about the other their culture and make them closer. Then we find

the positive impact on the immigrants themselves, i myself as an immigrant, I love sharing my

culture, I love talking about how Moroccans live, our beautiful and colorful streets, our delicious

and diverse food, and i like teaching my friends some Arabic and Moroccan words, I love

showing our traditional wedding and wearing our traditional dresses, it makes me feel different

and unique especially when i’m embracing it, it’s a piece of me that no one has and most people

love to learn about, while other immigrants feel ashamed, i insist that immigrants should always

embrace their cultural differences and of course have a piece of the American culture too, Gloria

Anzaluda agrees by saying in her book “ how to tame a wild tongue”: “I will no longer be made

to feel ashamed of existing. I will have my voice: Indian, Spanish, white. I will have my

serpent’s tongue- my woman’s voice, my sexual voice, my poet’s voice. I will overcome the

tradition of silence.” because most immigrants feel ashamed to speak their language or wear their

clothes, while its okay to do so. The last thing that i will be saying in my argument is about the

benefits of cultural differences and its positive impact on the American economy and politics,
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when immigrants bring their culture to America, they also bring new and creative ideas from

their homeland, new techniques, new skills, new talents that are life changing, Schmitt Jacobs

also supported this idea by explaining “​The sustained emphasis on ​economic growth​ and foreign

trade during the mercantilist era helped to spark the Industrial Revolution (c. 1760–1840). New

technologies such as the steam engine and mechanical spinning wheel transformed the

manufacturing industry by introducing time-saving machinery, and employment became

increasingly centralized in urban factories”. Immigrants help the economy grow, whether it’s on

the scientific and medical fields with new discoveries or new education and teaching techniques

or even authentic street foods, no one can deny that immigrants and their culture have built

america, and have a huge impact on its economy, BHARATI MUKHERJEE show’s an example

with her sisters Mira statement by saying: “I've invested my creativity and professional skills

into the improvement of this country’s pre-school system.”.

We can see by all of these statements that i have mentioned that immigrants who retains their

culture have a positive impact on society on all of its aspects.

Multiculturalism makes a negative impact on society and immigrants should assimilate to

american culture

Many americans argues that, when immigrants bring culture they also bring chaos, crime, and

barbaric traditions, this leads to many unpleasant results like racism, criticism, islamophobia and

fear. The first thing is that, some americans are scared of how other culture can influence them

and their children, they all have this wrong idea of how immigrants poorly live in their countries

and refuses to have any contact with them, they don’t let their children play with them and they

teach them to hate them, this hatred results from fear and often translates to racism, which leads
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us to our next argument. Racism is one of the major issues in all nations in general, but it’s more

frequent in a multicultural society like america, this hatred and misconception about immigrants

and their culture, creates a lot of social conflicts, immigrants starts to encounter racist comments

and are sometimes assaulted, my grandmother for example has been called a terrorist multiple

times because she was just wearing a Hijab while doing her groceries, and this is just a case of

many others, some people were stabbed or shot or beaten for being different and retaining their

culture, children were bullied because some Americans say that immigrants should leave their

culture behind and become american when they enter the american territory, the crazy part about

that is that they blame immigrants for them being racist, and that they should abandon their

“gypsies culture” for them not to be racist, i have witnessed many cases of family members

being called gypsies or terrorist or rapists or “dirty muslims” and were told not to talk in arabic

because we are in America, the least that those racist people could do is give you dirty looks,

Gloria Anzaluda has also encountered a similar situation when she said: “I remember being

caught speaking Spanish at recess- that was good for three licks on the knuckles with a sharp

ruler. I remember being sent to the corner of the classroom for “talking back” to the Anglo

teacher when all I was trying to do was tell her how to pronounce my name. “If you want to be

American, speak ‘American.’ If you don’t like it, go back to Mexico where you belong.” this

really shows that immigrants has suffered from this issue at least once in their lives.

In this part of the essay we can see all the issues that are caused by people who think that

immigrants should assimilate to american culture and abandon thousands of years worth of

heritage .
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To conclude our essaye i can see that even tho ​multiculturalism can lead to many conflicts

between members of society, families, and even with people themselves, i personally think and

insist that immigrants should keep their culture and embraces it because it’s what makes them

themselves, and our differences is what built America, by exchanging and introducing foreign

ideas, and my idea of assimilating to the American culture is by respecting individuals, the law

and working hard to make a change and help the country grow.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Schmitt, Jacob. "Immigration." ​Immigration and Migration:​ ​In Context,​ edited by


Thomas Riggs and Kathleen J. Edgar, vol. 1, Gale, 2018, pp. 410-419. In Context
Series. ​Opposing Viewpoints in Context​,
http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX3662200085/OVIC?u=lavc_main&sid=OVIC
&xid=5d8e27a0. Accessed 1 Nov. 2018.
MUKHERJEE , Bharati. “‘Two Ways To Belong In America’ by Bharati Mukherjee -
WriteWork.” ​WriteWork - Essays & Writing Guides for Students,​ 1996,
www.writework.com/essay/two-ways-belong-america-bharati-mukherjee​.
Anzaldúa, Gloria. “Gloria Anzaldúa – How To Tame a Wild Tongue.” ​Genius,​ 1987,
genius.com/Gloria-anzaldua-how-to-tame-a-wild-tongue-annotated.