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Melting Pot or Mosaic, which one

Culture is a behavior that consists of several critical elements, such as language, religion, race and ethnicity, clothing and politics. Culture is what one does in his/her daily life. In order to understand others, we must first keep in mind that every culture carries its own set of values and assumptions. Culture is an evolving, ever changing civilization, which includes several different groups people. For immigrants, America is a land of opportunity; for others it is just the best country in the world because of its economic success and/or its democratic political system.

Americans usually value independence a lot, believe in equal opportunity, and have a direct communication style. In exploring the future American society, specifically regarding relationships among various communities of racial, ethnic, and others we are groping for an image. Some hold on to the notion of a melting pot, in which all groups would be assimilated into one homogeneous American amalgam. As I see it, the image of a mosaic, if properly understood, serves better than a melting pot.

I think immigrants population within the United States are not being blended together in one pot, but rather they are transforming American society into a truly multicultural mixture where every person acts as a piece in a Mosaic. When looked in closely you will see people with different cultures, but when looked from a far distance you will not see a specific culture rather you see all American cultures as a whole, which in this case is a Mosaic. The mosaic is enriched by continuous elements of different colors and shapes, but it is held together by a frame and glue.

The mosaic depicts a society in which various communities maintain their religious, culinary, and cultural particularities, proud and knowledgeable about their specific traditions while recognizing that they are integral parts of a more encompassing whole. The communities are, and see themselves as constitutive elements of a community of communities, the society. Moreover, they have a firm commitment to the shared framework. “We came on different boats, but we now ride in the same ship,” to draw on a popular saying.

From the term Mosaic we get a picture that America has a structure of different cultures. The mosaic implies a contiguity of fixed, self-sufficient, utterly distinct cultures. Multiculturalism, as it has been practiced in the United States in the past 10 years, implies the existence of a central culture, ringed by peripheral cultures. The fallout of official multiculturalism is the establishment of one culture as the norm and the rest as aberrations. So I agree that the American civilization is composed of diverse cultures.

Chicago serves as the best example for diversity. If we walk down on Devon Street, the area, which is located between western and California serves many communities. You could see Indian, Russian, Pakistani and Jewish shops, all side by side. When looked in closely shop-by-shop we see different cultural shopkeeper carrying material of that specific culture. When looked in from far distance that place will be known as Devon Street and not as a specific cultural shop name.

In conclusion, in place of the melting pot, American culture satisfies the term mosaic. If true assimilation were to occur, immigrants would have to abandon all their cultural practices and act in accordance to one set American ways. But, immigrants do not completely give up their traditions and practices. Their identity remains unique because of their distinct cultural behaviors. So, basically, America is one civilization held together by many cultures, such as Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists and other ethnic groups.

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