Cultural Diversity

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Cultural diversity is around our community and self-identity. In the United States, all immigrants have their own experience and attitude towards cultural diversity and adapting to the American lifestyle. It performs an integral role in the lives of immigrants in the United States who experience consistent discrimination based on skin color and language. In their essays, "The Fourth of July" and "Two approaches to belong in America," Audre Lorde and Bharati Mukherjee narrate their own experience in America and the different views they have on American society, identification and immigration. Both Lorde and Bharati tell how other people may additionally want to blend in and ignore the variations in culture and identity while different remain true to their culture and acknowledge the difference. I agree with Lorde and Bharati that people view the American lifestyle different and opt to blend in or remain true to their culture and lifestyle

In "Two Ways to Belong in America," Bharati Mukherjee discusses the difference between her and her sister Mira on the experiences since they came to America. Both Bharati and her sister were born in Calcutta India and had the same dream when coming to America, to pursue their education and work and then return to India to get married to grooms of their father choice. However, on reaching the United States, Bharati develops a different view of the American society and decides to become a citizen while Mira holds on to her Indian culture and choose to be an immigrant with hope to return to India after retirement(Mukherjee 290). The two sisters have different views on immigration and how to relate to the American culture. Bharati is quick to integrate into the American culture by adopting the new clothes of jeans and T-shirts while Mira remains true to her culture and refuses to fit into American society. Besides, Bharati chooses to become part of the new speech community and view America as her home and work hard to improve the living standards of the people (Mukherjee 292). On the other hand, Mira opinions herself as in exile and chooses to uphold her Indian culture by maintaining the identity of a legal immigrant rather than a citizen. The difference in interpreting the status of immigrants between the two sisters shows the different view of immigrants on American culture and citizenship.

In the essay, "The Fourth of July" Audre Lorde narrates her experiences during a trip to Washington and highlights the difference in views and opinion regarding racism and discrimination in American culture. Lorde fails to understand why her parents want to blend in with the crowd and ignores when something wrong happens such as being refused at the ice cream joint or accessing the railroad dining cars (Lorde 255). Audre Lorde shares her experience as a black girl on her struggles with the near harsh reality of how the world operates and fails to understand why her parents choose to ignore the problems instead of standing up for themselves. Lorde realizes that the trip to Washington is a diversion since her older sister was not allowed to join the school trip since she is black and could be allowed to stay in the hotel (Lorde 254). Lorde embraces her identity and remains true to her culture by standing up for herself and not ignoring things that go wrong for the sake of blending in with the crowd.

Both of these essays depict my experience and that of my friends as immigrants on the struggles of identifying with the American culture and lifestyle while maintaining the cultural ties with ancestral home. One of the similarities between the two essays is the difference in views between being true to one's culture and standing up for oneself and that of blending in with the crowd and ignores the difference in culture and lifestyle. Mira and Lorde in the essays opt to remain faithful to their culture and stand up for racism and the different interpretation of immigrants in the country. Being an African American, my family and people have undergone all forms of discrimination and racism, and they fought for their freedom and free will. I agree with both Lorde and Mira decision to be faithful to one culture and be self-aware of your culture and identity. Today, even though racism is not entirely over, I can stand up for myself when discriminated, and I just don't blend in for the sake of living the American dream but tries to speak up for my culture and lifestyle. Both Bharati and Lorde's parents opt to blend in with the American culture and ignore the difference in culture for the sake of not feeling different with other people. Bharati wants Mira to become an American citizen, but Mira is rooted in her culture and wants to return to her people. Following people, irregardless of circumstances is ignorant since it hinders one to speak up when wrong to avoid being seen as different. Similarly, as Mira and Lorde have accepted their culture and identity, I have also taken my culture and origin as an African American to overcome the challenges of racism and to blend in for the sake of being black.

Works Cited

Lorde, Audre. “The Fourth of July.” 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. By Samuel Cohen. 4th ed.

Bedford/St. Martin’s, pp. 254-258.

Mukherjee, Bharati. "Two ways to belong in America." Paragraphs and Essays: With Integrated Readings (2010): 292.

July 24, 2021



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