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Ethnic Autobiography - Term Paper Example

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Ethnic Autobiography I am an Indian-American. We moved to the New England CT because of my dad’s job there. My mother has narrated me quite a lot of stories about our initial days in USA. Some of them are quite enjoyable, others are sad. I have come to know that my parents had to cope with the cultural shock upon their arrival in USA while adapting to the American culture…
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Download file to see previous pages She was quite competent in English, but the English she knew was British. Although an individual that knows the British English is quite capable of knowing the American English as well, yet there is great difference of accents between the two. Accordingly, my mother used to have a tough time understanding what people said. She said to me, “They would say it too fast anthe words were packed so tight that I could not tell where a word started and ended.” Connecting with and relating to the American people was yet another problem because they approached matters in a much different way than we did. The problem lied in the difference between the Indian and American cultures. What was normal to them was very awkward to us and vice versa. This made even the easiest tasks very gruesome for her. Whenever she came across the neighbors, she used to feel like an outsider not only because of her physical differences with the American ladies, but also because of her accent and above all, ideology. She was so different from the American women that she often could not identify anything to connect with them. So cultural shock was the first and the foremost obstacle my mother experienced after coming to USA. Selecting a school for me was no less than a challenge for my parents, with so many schools being popular for their racial behavior towards the students. I have been frequently asked by friends to recall when I had first realized the issue of race. Being the individual of color, they expect me to have known the issue much before an English boy my age gets to learn about it. Owing to their lower status in the society, minorities like us have to frequently encounter racial issues. Although it is difficult to recall the memories from the very early childhood, yet I do have a vivid idea of some race-related encounters that I had with my class-fellows. When I was in the third grade, I was playing a game with my class-fellows in which we had to name an object of a certain color in the classroom. For example, a player would reply wall-paint if he had to name a white object, or point towards the sun in the chart of he had to find a yellow object. One of my white class-fellows had to name something that was brown. To my surprise and disgust, he named me. I was petrified. I knew I was darker as compared to my class-fellows in complexion, yet I never knew I was brown. I retaliated, I asked him to go back to nursery and identify the names of colors. I drew a handful of coffee beans that I had in my pocket and said, “Look, this is what we call brown.” Then I held one of the coffee bean against my face, and said, “Can you see the difference?” The class-fellow replied, “See Anand, no offence but when its race, Indians are brown.” Such a definition of the brown color did not please me. Anyway, that was the first time I was made to think about race as a dominant criterion of judgment. It would have hurt less had it been some Indian to tell me I was brown. It felt even worse when another class-fellow said, “ O let’s move on… Stop calling him brown if he doesn’t like brown.” I said, “Its not that I don’t like brown. Its just that I am not brown.” But I could hardly convince anybody. My attempt to tell them that I was not brown had been interpreted by them as my dislike for the brown color that was actually not the case! They made me feel like I was not ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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