All the cultures in the world have their values, beliefs, and systems that their people follow and, there is none that acts and looks like another. Each one of them has its distinguishable features that make a given section of the society to be different from another. Understanding a given culture is sometimes hard due to the deep-rooted values and activities that they observe, and this is one of the reasons why it is hard to integrate two cultures. An individual who is moving from one culture to another may face various difficulties regarding the diet, the language, customers, and festivals among others issues. The integration of the American and Asian cultures can be categorized into three groups which include a situation where an individual may find it difficult to be absorbed into the mainstream society since they emigrate from Asia to the United States at an advanced age. The issue makes it hard for them to meet the expectations of American society. There is another case of integration where an individual is willing and ready to move from Asia to the United States but they experience a lot of difficulties that makes the process hard to undertake. The integration process can be an easy process if an individual moves to the United States at a young age and gets to experience the American culture when they are young. Such people find it easy to adapt considering that they are of Asian origin, they have not encountered another culture in their lifetime.
Conflicts in Language, Diet, Festivals, and Customs Between Asian and American Cultures
Asia and American cultures are different in various ways making it difficult for people in the two regions to move to each other's territory. The American culture revolves around individualism with the goals of a given individual being of utmost importance than those of a group. The issue drives an individual to succeed and becomes ambitious with the results being the achievement of great things like a stable economy and financial position, and an effective health system. In Asia, a significant number of decisions are made for the common good of the society at large and to ensure that there is a system in place that people are needed to follow for the achievement of a given issue. The Asian culture relies on the issue of collectivism to realize their goals and objectives. The language and communication style are quite different for it can be noted that in the United States, people are overfriendly and stereotyped as being loud and their communication process is analyzed as being upfront. If a given party fails to agree on the ideas they are raising, they are aggressive in defending them, and they are always ready to raise a confrontation that will ensure that they manage to convince everyone that they are right. Asian culture adopts a completely different communication style where it can be stated that in some communities, people greet each other with a bow and not the handshake and the loud hellos. The young people are supposed to behave differently when in the presence of their seniors, address and greet them in a certain manner that shows respect (Bauer, Florian, Matzler, and Wolf 80). The desire to honor and respect others may lead to people in the Asian cultures nodding on issues that are being discussed even though they do not agree with them.
On the diet issue, it seems that there exists a lot of differences between the American and Asian cultures as it can be noted that the issue of individualism and collectivism arise again. The Asian culture and values drive people to share their meals and eat communally while in the American society, individualism prevails on the issue of eating and diet. There are some meals that the Asians belief are against their customs and religion and it is a taboo to consume them like the pigs. However, with the Americans, they do not have a problem with such foods. The use of round tables in Asian culture is a common feature for it dictates unity while the Americans use square ones that are suitable for individual meals and in case the number of people is large, they rely on long tables (Trueba, Lila, and Kirton 60). In the American culture, red meat is highly ranked, and though it raises a lot of debates with a given section of the society stating that it can lead to increase in the cholesterol levels and heart disease, it is given a lot of worthy. In the Asian cultures, red meat is treated as a side and not the main course, and they mostly rely on vegetables which is not the case with the American culture.
Three Types of Integration in the United States
As a result of the many differences that exist between the two cultures, it becomes a hard task for an Asian of advanced age to immigrate to the United States and find peace of mind and comfort with the American culture. There is the possibility of a lot of conflict arising and major changes expected in their life if they are to adopt and live in the United States. A good number of Asian immigrants to the United States are socially excluded and marginalized from the mainstream society because of various factors like the inability to connect with the locals due to cases of cultural differences. They are dynamically shut out from the political, cultural, economic and social system considering that is some instances; they develop negative attitudes towards the way locals are living or doing some activities. They try to stay away from these activities for they believe that they are not in line with their common knowledge and understanding of how things are supposed to be done (Lee 67). They may feel that their cultural beliefs and activities will be eroded if they are integrated with the American, and this drives them to continue practicing their cultural values thus making it hard to facilitate the integration process. Additionally, there are instances that the American cultural traits and practices tend to dislike something that is not like them or undermines activities that they do not practice. They may thus try to keep away from people that are not conversant with their way of doing things meaning that the old generations of Asian immigrants may find it hard to integrate into the American culture.
There exist a good number of the Asian immigrants that are willing and ready to adjust their way of life, diet, and cultural values to ensure that they manage to integrate into the mainstream culture. Life can become easy for them if they are in a position to live the American way of life since a significant number of activities in the society are expected to be influenced by the way American culture dictates. Despite the great desire to be assimilated into the American way of life, these immigrants face various difficulties considering that changing culture is a gradual process and not a one-off thing. One of the difficulties they experience is the culture shock considering that after moving to the United States, they still have their life experiences and cultural background leading them to feel confused, stressed, and disorientated. Despite the efforts that put in place to facilitate the integration process, they may feel homesick and desire to engage in familiar activities and live under some known cultural values. The difference in the communication style and way of interaction may lead them to avoid social situations since they may feel that they are not connecting with the Americans. In an example, the American culture involves an individual defending their ideas to the core and ensuring that everyone around agrees with them. This is not the case with the Asian cultures when people are expected to nod even when they are not sure whether the arguments are right to show honor and appreciation. The issue may lead an individual to become angry over minor irritations that may be coupled with exhaustion and feeling of being nervous.The interaction process of an Asian immigrant to the United States can be made easy if they moved at a young age. The cultural values, beliefs, and identities are achieved as a person continues to grow and this means that if an individual is of an Asian origin, but grows up in the United States, there is a high probability that they will behave and act like an American. This is because they will adopt the ways and procedures of doing things that are evident in the American culture and the only thing that they may possess that shows they are of Asian origin may be their names and physical looks. However, all the other things like talking, diet and communication styles may be those depicted in American culture. They will, therefore, be completely assimilated and in some of the instances, such people change their names to ensure that they have the identity of an American and they are in line with the local's cultural behaviors.
To sum up, it is a difficult task for an Asian to get integrated into American culture. There are various difficulties that they experience, such as the communication style, diet and custom values. The feeling of homelessness and inability to participate in social situations may lead an immigrant to feel that they are not suited to the American cultures. The case may adversely affect the old people who may find it hard to change their way of living or even their cultural beliefs and practices which are not applying in American society. Even the people who are willing and determined to get assimilated in the American culture may face such difficulties. However, when an Asian immigrates to the United States at a young age, they are highly likely to find it easier to integrate into the culture since they have not learned the Asian way of doing things.
Bauer, Florian, Kurt Matzler, and Stefan Wolf. "M&A and innovation: The role of integration and cultural differences-A central European targets perspective." International Business Review 25.1 (2016): 76-86.
Lee, Stacy J. Unraveling the" model minority" stereotype: Listening to Asian American youth. Teachers College Press, 2015.
Trueba, Henry T., Lila Jacobs, and Elizabeth Kirton. Cultural Conflict & Adaptation. Routledge, 2014.
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