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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Caught Between Two Cultures

By Carroll DashSpecial to CSMS Magazine     The issue of being caught between two cultures is of great importance. Children of immigrant parents fall in this category. The need to be fully accepted in mainstream society forces students of foreign origins to shun their primary language and culture. There is a good reason for that: cultures as the identifying factors. People think that a culture can identify a person because he or she belongs to a specific group. For example, society thinks all people born in the Middle East are Muslims, all Italian people are catholic, and all African Americans are Baptist. These stereotypes tend to force people to hide their identities. But when a person is of two cultures, he/she should be able to relate to both. Being born of two cultures, the person should have knowledge of both cultures: its religion, beliefs, and language.     There are some implications that ESOL students face with the home culture, dominant cultures, and cultures of the neighborhood and school. These ESOL students usually try to be accepted and fit in with their neighborhood peers and classmates. The ESOL student must first accept him/herself. The student should be secure and confident in knowing who he/she is. These students are concerned with the perception of others. They often care about what others think of them or if others accept them.     ESOL students with two cultures should be able to communicate, read, write, and understand both cultures. These ESOL students should be able to function with pride in both cultures; and this should be viewed as a positive, not a negative. These ESOL students should be able to voice their opinion from both perceptive. They should not just accept the dominant culture, but both cultures that make them an intercultural.     The implications among home culture, dominate culture, culture of the neighborhood, and culture of the school can be confusing if there are massive differences because of values taught and cultural beliefs that differs. The students have to be able to distinguish the different cultural beliefs and be able to adjust accordingly when necessary. At school, these ESOL students want to be accepted by classmates, they have to adjust to that culture (dominant) and way of life.     In conclusion, when a person is born with two cultures, he/she should embrace both, be fluent in both, and know the religious side of both cultures. I think if these ESOL students accept both cultures, they will accept themselves and know who they are. In knowing that, it will promote self-esteem. When students are fluent in both cultures, they will prove themselves to others. When a person is born of two cultures they face being identified by the cultures and its religious beliefs.Carroll Dash is a student at NSU. She lives and works in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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