Religion and Ethnic Diversity

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Religion and Ethnic Diversity

Religion and Ethnic Diversity
This video discusses the mass diversity of religion in the United States, especially in Los Angeles. Los Angeles is a place where immigrants go to escape the poverty and disparity of their homelands yet keep a strong hold on their religious beliefs and practices. Rather than falling into American culture the immigrants are able to keep a strong hold on their individual religious beliefs. In Los Angeles there are over one hundred languages spoken. Long Beach is where the Khmer Bodhikaram is, which is a Cambodian Buddhist temple and monastery, Long Beach is the largest Cambodian community in America. There were around one hundred and fifty thousand Cambodian refugees that arrived in the United States in the early eighties. This large migration was due in part to them experiencing terror from Khemer Rouge first hand. When the immigrants arrived here they were so terrorized that this led to debilitating physical pathologies including around one hundred cases of psychosomatic blindness in Cambodian women that witnessed loved ones being murdered. The immigrant’s mental and emotional health was not good and they had suffered greatly. They did not trust western medicine to cure their ailments, they feared that they would be harmed further or worse poisoned. The Reverend Chhean studied psychology to meld Buddhist healing tradition with western medicine to assist in the healing of the refugees and their children, this also helped ease them into their future in America. Where churches used to help immigrants ease their way towards assimilation, today, they help them maintain a tie with their old country.

It is very interesting to learn that so many immigrants go to Los Angeles and there are so many different languages and religions there. Since the beginning of immigration to this country and the “Ellis Island” experience has been discussed I had no idea that the western part of the country really held so...
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