Sunday, April 28, 2013

American ♫ Desi Girl ♫

Chapter 7 

Fondue

“Mama, do we live in a melting pot?”
“Sorta. America has been called a melting pot sometimes because it has been settled by people who came from all corners of the world and settled here. Even as far back as the 1700 s more than a dozen different languages were spoken in New York alone. About a hundred and fifty are spoken today. The oranges we’re eating could’ve been planted by someone speaking one language, picked by one speaking another, driven on a truck by a driver speaking a different language, put on shelves by one speaking another language.”
“And then we all speak English.”
“Yes we do, or how would we communicate? We can’t function if we can’t communicate?”
“So we all melted into one language?”
“Not entirely. There’s degrees of melting. That is why some people prefer to call America a salad bowl. Each ingredient in the salad is a different shape, color, texture, flavor, and contributes to the whole to make it better.”
“How do you see America, as a melting pot, or a salad bowl?’
“To tell you the truth I’ve decided against simple metaphors now that I’m old and gray. I like to see it as a country, my country, which it is. I accept its history, geography, current affairs and future prospects whatever they might be. I’ve learned to look past distinctions of race and size and class and gender. Cut any one of us and we bleed, so why bother with the pigeonholes. Just so long as we mean well, do our best, and do what’s right we’re American. In a world so connected we have to stop this ‘us and them’ business and remember we share oceans, the atmosphere, and a global economy.”
“Why did you stop thinking about the melting pot and the salad bowl when you did?”
“One day, without warning, my beloved melting pot morphed into a pressure cooker. I panicked. And with those fears and tears and chills and sweats came this realization. We’re people, plain and simple.”

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