Multiculturalism In Mother Tongue, Memorial Day And Multiculturalism, And College Writing

2176 words - 9 pages

Multiculturalism in Mother Tongue, Memorial Day and Multiculturalism, and College Writing

    As an American it is very important to understand the different concepts of assimilation and multiculturalism. It is these terms that differ one person from everybody else in some kind of way. Multiculturalism is a term that is just what it sounds like. It is including several cultures. According to the American Heritage dictionary, multiculturalism is " a social or educational theory or program that encourages interest in many cultures within a society rather than in only one mainstream culture. " Assimilation is the exact opposite of what multiculturalism is. Assimilation is described to be where " a minority group gradually adopts the customs and attitudes of the prevailing culture. "

So how does one decide whether to believe in assimilation or multiculturalism? Well the truth to that question is that there really is no direct correct belief. It all depends on the person. On how their past was like, who their parents are and where they came from. Some of the greater issues that come up when talking about assimilation versus multiculturalism are language, literacy, power, and difference in American culture. Amy Tan's reading titled " Mother Tongue ", Thomas Bray's " Memorial Day and multiculturalism ", and Maxine Hairston's " College Writing " readings are amongst one of the most appropriate in addressing the issues of multiculturalism and assimilation. One of the greatest differences in American culture right now is language. This is because people come from all sorts of different countries into America and only know how to speak their own native language. Many people come over to America to work here and start a better life yet with no desire to learn English. Many feel that other people should be more accepting of different languages or different styles of speaking English. This is a great example of multiculturalism. Amy Tan, the author of " Mother Tongue " is a great example of this. Her mother came to the United States in 1949. Her parents met in San Francisco where Tan was born in the year of 1952. Originally her father had come from China, and her mother from that area most likely also. She describes how her mother was one of her greatest role models to become a writer. She explained how as her mother was talking with other people some would say that they would understand half of what she was saying. Some said that they would understand most of what she was saying. And some said that they would not understand anything of what they were saying.. Tan describes her mother's language as being " vivid, direct, full of observation and imagery." ( 2 ) Later on she goes on to describe that her mothers language had helped her understand the way she saw things in her perspective. The way that she had expressed things, and she was able to understand what the world was about from a whole new and better...

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