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Synthesizing Paper

1933 words - 8 pages

"No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive." This quote was stated by the preeminent leader, Mahatma Gandhi. Every culture that exists are unique and significant because of their vast traditions and beliefs. The extent of one's culture informs the way one views others and the world. Throughout the stories, "Where World's Collide", "An Indian Father's Plea", and the "Willie Lynch letter" each culture presented was controlled by another culture. Each character was expected to adapt themselves to a whole new culture, leaving their traditions hidden. It was portrayed in the story that the dominating culture wanted to remain dominant as they adapt others to their traditions and ...view middle of the document...

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A stereotype is a fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or things, dispensing false hopes and false assumptions. Los Angeles is the second largest city in America and is known for its breath-taking attractions and amazing weather. However, from Pico Iyer's perspective "the blue skies and palm trees they saw on TV are scarcely visible from here." The Los Angeles culture could be viewed in many aspects depending on what was heard or presumed. "When I stopped at a Traveler's Aid desk at LAX recently, I was told I could request help in Khamu, Mien, Tigrinya, Tajiki, Pashto, Dari, Pangasinan, Pampangan, Waray-Waray, Bambara, Twi, and Bicolano." Through ethnocentrism, the personnel from the Traveler's Aid desk believed Pico only spoke languages that were most familiar to Indians, judging by his physical attributes. One may convince themselves that people of a culture they're unaccustomed to are "outsiders" with meaningless qualities.

Pico Iyer made it clear through his vivid sense of imagery of the many cultures one would be exposed to at LAX. Cultural indifference were present in throughout story, as others revealed a lack of caring for another's culture. Which could lead to cultural sensitivity and other major conflicts within society. "They see Koreans piling into the Taeguk Airport Shuttle and the Seoul Shuttle, which will take them to Koreatown without their ever feeling they've left home; they see newcomers from the Middle East disappearing under the Arabic script of the Sahara Shuttle." As the readers visualize the "outsiders" standing behind bold yellow lines stating "Do Not Cross", readers realize how society is becoming more and more multicultural. As a response to this observation, society limits these cultures by shuttling them away and categorizing them as, "Others". The United States is said to be a diversified country where many come from all around the world to contribute to the American culture. Yet the American culture is seen to be so accustomed to their citizens to a degree where they view other cultures with no empathy as they promote propositions such as Prop 187.

​Culture, in “An Indian Father’s Plea”, is the behaviors and beliefs of a character in a particular social group or ethnic background. Robert Lake emphasizes how affective a view of a person from another culture can be. Lake paints in a style of a letter from a father to a stereotypic teacher of his son Wind-Wolf. Discrimination is brought upon Wind-Wolf for having the knowledge of his own culture. The teacher is affected by Wind-Wolf’s Indian culture in a way that views him as a “slow learner". Wind Wolf's teacher could not realize how amazingly Wind-Wolf was able to view things from his own culture’s perspective, therefore he was categorized under "an empty glass". Although, Wind-Wolf was labeled a “slow learner”, his cultural mindset was able to prove to readers that he was actually an intelligent. “At the age of 5, he has...

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