Thursday, February 23, 2012

Am I Rooted in My Culture or in the Process of Assimilation...

In the early twentieth century, a Jewish immigrant named Israel Zangwill offered this description of the US in his book The Melting Pot: “There she lies the great melting pot- Listen! Can’t you hear the roaring and the bubbling? There gapes her mouth-the harbour where a thousand mammoth feeders come from the ends of the world to pour in their human freight. Al, what a stirring and a seething - Celt and Latin. Slav and Teuton, Greek and Syrian, Black and Yellow... Jew and Gentile.”
According to Zangwill, European immigrants would gradually lose their traditional ways of life and blend together. A new mixed culture would emerge from this process. This process is named assimilation, the change in which people lose their cultural differences and blend into the wider society. 
Where do I fit in is the big question. I use to heavily engaged in the Sri Lankan community then with traveling and work that bond disappear. No matter what I believe in my religion but do I practice  enough by means of going to the temple, participating in Sri Lankan cultural activities I wanted to say I like to do more in this area. 
I have been questioning myself a lot lately because I am taking a class that involved in diversity consciousness. I know deep inside me I am trying to fit in to the culture that I am surrounded with by doing so am I diverting away from my culture is the biggest question. I do want to pass the beautiful culture which I was born. I was born to two beautiful people with different religious beliefs, ethnicity, race, but at the end they united to take care of their children. I was raised in a family to respect other people’s beliefs, ideas, personality, above all I was exposed to two different cultures. 
I believed in my faith, religion, found peace, made resolutions during tough times. ask for strength to take on difficult tasks, and I want to pass this belief  to my children. I want my children to understand our culture and integrate it to their life and world. 
Part of me embraced the American culture not to bring any memories of the Sri Lankan New Year. Because it was the day I lost my Mother for a heart attack. Deep inside I think part of me wanted to fit in to people around me. 
I found solace in someway going to temple participating in activities. I could not bring myself together to celebrate the New Year but I cannot live in that forever. I want to pass my heritage the beautiful culture that I grew up to my children.
I found peace with the auspicious times and the loss of the most important person in my life. I want to remember, offer arms, and celebrate with my family the beautiful heritage that belongs to me.  
In the book further more it discussed the process of the Pluralism which is the cultural differences are acknowledged and preserved. In to some extent this is a debatable subject. Visiting back to the melting pot we as a nation as become more like a  salad bowl which i like very much.
If you have any thought on this please feel free to write them.
Quote of the day “Let go/ forgive/ accept”

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