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Immigrant Identities, Preserved in Vinegar?

In: People

Submitted By deonisp
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How immigrants become citizens
In the article “Immigrant Identities, Preserved in Vinegar?” in The New York Times newspaper Jane Ziegelman wrote about beginning of the last century when America faced with lots of immigrants who ate very seasoned food that was unusual for locals. Also the author wrote about assimilating the immigrants by the government. I highlighted the main question of the text: What makes an immigrant a citizen? And I surely know the answer. It is Assimilation, that includes a lot of things.

First of all, to assimilate an immigrant must speak local language in his everyday life. Language is the most important part of assimilation. Without speaking local language, like English in USA, an individual is not able to communicate with people around him. Without ability to communicate with others, an immigrant can not get a job, buy anything, ask others for help, etc. People use language to say others what they need, to do any work together, in general to live in society, be a part of it. For example, there are some people in USA who doesn’t really speak English, like people of Brighton Beach, Chinatown in New York City or another “national districts”. People there can not go and do anything outside of their neighborhood. They can’t get a well-paid job in rich neighborhoods like Downtown. So, the first thing an immigrant must do to become a part of the society and assimilate is to learn local language as well as he can.

Also, assimilation includes eating the same food as others. To become an American, an immigrant should eat what Americans eat every day. Immigrants of the past century were different. They did not eat American food, so they actually was not Americans. To help them assimilate, cooking classes was established. People were taught to cook simple American food like pies and chowders. People that came all over the world and used to eat different food started to cook like local people that made them much more similar to Americans. By the way, I am sure that eating the same food as others have some advantages including ability to buy your meal anywhere in the country, in any grocery store. The other thing is that conservative people of past centuries had a little xenophobic feeling when they saw people eating unusual food. For example some immigrants eat food that can be awful for locals, like insects. I am sure that people who want to be treated like locals must eat like them. So, in order to finally integrate into society, immigrants had to adopt locals’ diet.

In conclusion, assimilation is about culture. One of the most important things an immigrant must have to become a citizen is local culture. Common, joint culture is the main thing apart from language that makes a lot of different people one nation. In my opinion, culture is what holidays people celebrate, what traditions they have. It is how people react on different situations in life. Culture is about values of people. I am sure that people can never become local if they keep their culture and to adopt local one: some people remain same after immigrating: they keep all their traditions, way of reacting to situations and just point of view on life and world around them. In short, people like them can never assimilate. It would be hard for them to live in local society.
So, a culture means behavior in everyday life, a way of life, lifestyle, something that makes a big group of people a nation. I am sure culture is one of the most important things immigrants must adopt to assimilate.

So, in general, assimilation is acceptance of local lifestyle by immigrants: local diet, culture and language. If an immigrant does everything like a citizen, he certainly becomes one. I think, assimilation is the thing that build a big and strong society in the country.…...

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