A persons identity is a combination of many things such as culture, language, and ancestry. When immigrating to America assimilation takes place “[some] achieve whiteness”(Eric Liu,252). Some people argue that to assimilate is to loose your culture and become what Eric Lui calls “white”. However coming from a family who immigrated to America I know that it is possible to assimilate without loosing your culture.
In the New Oxford American Dictionary to assimilate is; “to absorb and integrate people, ideas, or culture” When immigrating once you arrive to America you are immediately immersed into a mixture of different cultures it is impossible to not to pick up on the language even if it is what Amy Thuy refers to as, “broken English”, and even when shopping you will come across things that you might not have found in your old country.
When my grandparents came to America the only way to service was to learn how to speak english because outside of the small Polish neighborhood in Boston they needed to be be able to communicate with the general population. So, they bought a used dictionary and begun to learn English, when they spoke the words it didn’t sound right due to the lack of understanding the rules of english, but none the less they were assimilating. In the confront of their small Polish community they would speak their ancestral language. They hand seven children and each one of them grew up respecting, and cherishing their ancestral culture through family traditions that would continue to be passed down just as they have been in the generations before them. Even though their children were born american they were still raised with the old traditions, but with the understanding of other traditions.
You can be proud of your traditional culture while still not letting it hold you back, as Eric Lui states "I was never ashamed of being...I was rather proud to be linked to such a great civilization....[but] I never wanted it to defeat me”.... [continues]
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(2010, 05). Eric Lui Culture Identity. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 05, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Eric-Lui-Culture-Identity-334238.html
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"Eric Lui Culture Identity." StudyMode.com. 05, 2010. Accessed 05, 2010. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Eric-Lui-Culture-Identity-334238.html.