Asians Mostly Take Off Their Shoes Cultural Studies Essay
First of all, let’s get started with melting pot culture. What is actually a melting pot culture? The United States is known as a country of immigrant, whereby it is a place for people from all over the world to come to build a better life (Waters, 2012). One thing that they bring along is their culture. The term ‘melting pot’ arises as a basic idea that presents people of the whole notion that have different ethnic, beliefs and cultures as one large pot that will produce a new culture. All the immigrants are thrown into a ‘pot’ and all the culture they bring together will be blended or melted together to form a new culture. Essentially, it says the concept of ‘from many to one’ (Taylor, 2011). According to Levine & Serbeh-Dunn ( 1999) claims that the cultural melting pot tells immigrants that no matter who they are in their past, once staying in America, they are Americans and they have to follow and adapt to the American lifestyle. United States believed to the assimilation concept which means the people of minority culture used the language, custom and lifestyle of the dominant. For an example, in the late of 18th century, natives of America are forced to implement English lifestyle in their life such as learning English and wearing Western dress ("Diverse Society Face Change",2000). This type of culture actually brings some advantages and disadvantages that will be discussed later on.
There are a lot of advantages for the country that practise the melting pot culture. The biggest advantage is the country will be in peace and harmony. This is because a society that practises the same culture mostly will have a similar thought, ideas, and opinions on certain things. This can be proven through the theory of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. "The Whorfian hypothesis of linguistic relativity states that the structure of a culture’s language determines the behaviour and habits of the culture" (LittleJohn & Foss, 2008). The citizens are said to speak with one voice which means majority of them will agree on the same thing. Besides that, the citizens will speak in the same language. Thus an effective communication will be achieved as society will understand each other better. There is also less misunderstanding in communication, everyone will get the actual massage and true understanding of the context. Besides that, the notion that practises this type of culture usually will have a better patriotism among the citizens. This is because they have to leave their native culture behind and serve for the country, a place that they practise a new culture. They will love and ready to sacrifice their life for the country as the culture of the country teaches them to be a loyal citizen. All of these points will lead to a peace and harmony of a country.
However, we must notice that though melting pot culture brings a lot of advantages for the country, there are also disadvantages behind this culture. One of the main disadvantages is the people of the notion especially the immigrants will lost their own cultural identity. This is because immigrants have to abandon their own culture in order to get a license of citizenship, making loans and sign an agreement. People nowadays are more concern to earn more money instead of preserve their culture. Culture is not something that we have to keep in ourselves, but we have to practise our culture and make it as everyday use. The proponents of melting pot culture may argue that culture is still in their heart even though they are not practising it but I believe that the culture will disappear if it’s not been practised.
Now let’s move on to the salad bowl culture. What is salad bowl culture and how it differs from melting pot culture? Basically salad bowl culture suggests the integration of many others combined in a country, without blending or melting their own culture. Just like you are making salad, with a lot of any other ingredients will be mixed in a bowl together without losing their own identity. This means each of the culture is allowed to keep its own culture identities. Differs from melting pot culture, salad bowl culture gives some freedom whereby one does not need to abandon one’s own cultural heritage in order to approve a citizenship and he is not tied to a single culture. One of the countries that practise salad bowl culture is our own country, Malaysia. Malaysia consists of many races and our three main races are Malay, Chinese, and India and each of the races holds their own cultural identity. Now let’s discuss the advantage and disadvantage of this culture.
One of the advantages of salad bowl culture is this culture brings uniqueness for the country. This is because there are a lot of cultures in one country. Everyone in Malaysia does practise their own culture and holds their beliefs. Why I say it brings uniqueness? It is because though they are from different cultures, they still live in a harmony and respect each other. This can be seen during their own celebration. In Malaysia, there are a lot of celebrations that can be celebrated such as once a year Malay will celebrate Hari Raya Puasa, Chinese will celebrate Chinese New Year and Indian will celebrate Deepavali. These three main celebrations will be celebrated together although they are from different culture. Each culture will do ‘open house’ as a sign to welcome anyone to celebrate the celebration along with them no matter what is your culture. Besides that, Malaysia gains independence because of the uniqueness of the culture. Moreover the uniqueness of the Malaysia’s culture also encourages tourism thus will increase the economy of the country. However, salad bowl culture may bring a lot of disadvantages to the country if each of the culture cannot fit in with one another.
The country that practises salad bowl culture will be in a very big crisis if all the cultures cannot accept and appreciate the difference of one another. This is because they always have different thought, opinions and beliefs of something. Besides that, there will be a race than superior than the other race that will have a special right. This means that this country does not give an equal right for the citizens. For an example, Malaysia provides a special right for its superior race, Malay because Malaysia is actually their place of origin. This will lead to dissatisfaction of any other group if they cannot respect and accept the special right. Incidents such as riots and illegal demonstration will be happened. Once ago, Malaysia faces this crisis through the incident of 13 Mei, a racial riot that causes a lot of death and the country is in chaos. Misunderstanding in communication also will be happened as they speak in a different language. However, this can be overcome if they know how to speak in other language. I believe if each of the culture knows how to overcome the weakness of the salad bowl culture, the country will gain a lot of benefits from it.
In a nutshell, I believe that both of the cultures give advantages and disadvantages in their own way. According to Taylor (2011), there is no culture that is free from faults and there is no perfect culture in this world. We as humans are aware that the strength of our notion depends on the strength of the bonds among the citizens. I also believe that all cultures including melting pot culture or salad bowl culture teach us how to value others. Melting pot suggests that all of the society in the same culture is equal and salad bowl teach us how to appreciate the beauty of differences between each other. All of the cultures are heading to the same goal, to achieve peace and harmony of the group. It’s not the culture that is important but the way us, as a society lead the culture. If peace and harmony that we are looking for, then go for it no matter where you are and what culture that you hold.