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He thinks that there is no such thing as multiculturalism, there is only a melting pot and all the cultures go in and a different culture(s) emerges. The theme is relevant to all, as everyone supposedly belongs to some culture or race. If the only constant is change then what is a culture anyway? If certain tradition, style of speaking, food and dress remains specific to a place for a certain amount of time, does it mean it will always stay that way, if this is not true then what happened to the Stone Age culture and hunting with spears made of bone and wood? Shouldn’t we all hold on to our ‘true culture’? Rodriguez is right in his reasoning because he grew up in America, born to a Mexican family. He lived through all of the cultural amalgamation in the US. There are no hard and fast rules to cultures anymore. Probably there is no culture after all, but the culture of change and evolution. Rodriguez is right in arguing that there is no multiculturalism, it is just a haze. He astoundingly explains this to an interviewer who asks him if he considers himself as Hispanic or American, and he replies, Chinese. That is what he grew up with; a little bit of this and a little bit of that. He is born to Mexican parents and goes to an American school (where he’s shown to speak ‘proper’ English) and has Chinese neighbors. The ‘proper’ English even teaches him how to say his own name as the school teacher writes his name on the board and reads it out loud and asks him to follow along, so that the whole class gets familiar with his name and he gets to say his name in a certain accent; the ‘proper’ accent, this is what the culture (or multiculture) is all about. However, certain things remain specific to certain cultures, for instance Asian culture is very different from the Western culture; “Many Asian cultures have distinct conceptions of individuality that insist on the fundamental relatedness of individuals to each other. The emphasis is on attending to others, fitting in, and harmonious interdependence with them.” (Markus and Kitayama, 1991) But there is something in the world that brings together different cultures, the melting pot. The author frequently uses the term melting pot and prefers it over common culture or multiculture. The term melting pot represents the trend in culture in a better way. The author has introduced two different views about the ‘melting pot theory’, one is positive while the other has some negativity attached to it. The author says that the melting pot has changes people. When someone goes into it, their identity is lost. An African will not remain African after the melting pot treatment. The loss of identity or separation from the origin is what he refers to as something which he doesn’t look forward to. He accepts it only because of its inevitability. The inevitable side of the ‘identity loss’ makes sense. This world belongs to everyone; it would be ridiculous to think that certain race will remain in a certain piece of land for all eternity; an impossibility. They will eventually travel to some other part of this world. And when they live with the other ‘cultures’ they will take some part of it and will give some of theirs; “Even while America changes the immigrants, the immigrants are changing us” (Rodriguez) The other way Rodriguez sees the melting pot is somewhat of a miracle pot. A person goes in it and comes out as something different. The pot has magical powers, but he question is; does it bring people closer or pushes them away? Clearly it brings them closer at the cost of the so called ‘identity’. The only thing wrong with this approach is when people are forced to adapt to certain norms. They have their own culture and lifestyle, why would the dominant culture suppress it
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