Is it possible for an immigrant (from a visible ethnic minority) to assimilate into a new country?
Will immigrants be absorbed into the mainstream and integrate from the very beginning, upon arrival to North America? Should Native North Americans have been legislated to assimilate, when white Europeans took control of their homeland?
To me it sounds like it should have been the other way around. The Europeans should have assimilated into the Native way of life, since they were the immigrants.
Due to obvious physical differences we think the Chinese and the East Indians are the only ones that don't assimilate, but have you thought about what happened early in the great migration of Europeans to North America. We were tricked into believing we assimilated because of our physical similarities. Different varieties of European immigrants seemed to meld together but did they?
When immigrants from Italy moved to Canada they ended up moving into the Little Italy, and other Italian neighbourhoods, spoke Italian in the home and attended Catholic Churches and Schools. The Irish, stuck to themselves and formed their own communities. Companies finding one good worker would look for and hire their relatives. The Germans, the Polish, the Russians huddled together and worked together. The Japanese and Chinese had little towns all by themselves outside the city limits of larger towns, eventually to be swallowed up and incorporated into the larger town. There are so many "villas" Frenchville, Greekville, forming their own social networks and neighbourhoods in almost every major city of Canada today.
You couldn't blame a person. I think, I myself would have gravitated to someone who spoke my language and had my beliefs, if I moved to Tokyo today say, I would automatically find it difficult to assimilate, to blend in, for two reasons, not speaking Japanese and being Caucasian an obvious reason, and vice-versa if they moved here, it would be hard to blend in.
I would try my hardest, short of turning a Buddhist, if that's what I really wanted.
There's no pride in assimilation, but as an immigrant, it's your duty. If you didn't, it would appear more as an invasion, like when the Europeans first landed here in North America.
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