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Essay on Assimilating into American Culture

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Immigration and assimilation is a divisive topic that has been heavily debated in America ever since we became a country. There are two stories that explore the assimilation issue from different viewpoints’; in Mary Pipher’s story; “The Beautiful Laughing Sisters – An Arrival Story”; provides the viewpoint of immigrants leaving a hostile home for America. Elizabeth Wong details her journey to break with her culture and become Americanized in, “The Struggle to be an all American girl.” and (McWhorter, 2010 pp522-529). At debate today is whether immigrants and their families should blend into American culture even if it means breaking with their past. Once cultures intermingle, they are forever changed.
American culture was initially shaped by many European races and cultures coming together through shared ideals and values which has attributed to our diversity. However, other races did not always have a choice; Native American Indians were forced to assimilate or be segregated and many today live separate on reservations. Our text, “Pathways: Writing scenarios” suggests to improve the reading experience it is important to connect it to your own personal experiences (McWhorter, 2010 p 40). My perspective stems from my heritage; which is Irish, Apache and Cherokee; my family chose to settle in Texas rather than face forced conefinement on a reservation. My family has finally incorporated a blend of all these different cultural traditions and customs. This was not an easy transition nor did it happen overnight; it has taken many generations for my family to embrace all the discordant cultures into a harmonious environment. My grandmother denied her Indian heritage for many years; her coloring was Irish-red hair and alabaster...


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...ur architecture varies across the country and is influenced by the culture that settled in the area. Tacos, burritos, eggrolls, barbeque, pizza, corn bread, soul food, Cajun food, and Tex-Mex are a few examples of how other cultures have influenced American food. In addition, German schnitzel became chicken-fried steak when they settled in America since beef was plentiful and more economical. It took awhile for these cultural influences to become Americanized, just as it takes time for immigrants to adjust.
In conclusion, America’s journey while not always easy and not without conflict is enriched by its immigrants. Immigrants choose to come to America because there is something in our culture that is missing in their own culture. Immigrants can blend in with American culture and retain their own cultural identity by passing along the best of both cultures.






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