Writing Response #2.pdf - Jon DeJesus Writing the Essay II Immigrant Voices Acculturation A Loss or Gain I remember growing up and coming home late

Writing Response #2.pdf - Jon DeJesus Writing the Essay II...

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Jon DeJesus Writing the Essay II 11/1/2018 Immigrant Voices Acculturation: A Loss or Gain I remember growing up and coming home late after school, my abuela would have the stove on and the scent of sancocho filled the apartment. Sancocho was one of her favorite dishes to make: potatoes, beef, corn, sofrito, broth, and a side of white rice. I would always have it served in a bowl and mix my rice into the sancocho. For years my abuela would say that my bowl reminded her of this city, New York City. I never got what she meant until I was in high school--that was the first time I heard the term melting pot, which New York City is known for being. As soon as I heard it I thought about my abuela’s sancocho, different cultures like each ingredient coming together to make something new. Another term for this is acculturation, when different cultures come together and start to mix. As David Sam and John Berry Acculturation: When Individuals and Groups of Different Cultural Backgrounds Meet, they state “ The most widely used definition of acculturation is ‘those phenomena which result when groups of individuals having different cultures come into continuous first-hand contact, with subsequent changes in the original culture patterns of either or both group’”(473). Reading that definition I realized that it describes me. I come from a heavily Puerto Rican family, so my Saturday mornings were filled with waking up to bachata and the smell of Pine-Sol, but I also grew up very American, I am one of the only people in my family not fluent in Spanish. My mom’s side of the family, who still lives in Puerto Rico, like to say I am not Puerto Rican I am a Nuyorican (New York Puerto Rican). This got me thinking: is acculturation a loss or a gain of culture? Through literature, media, and my own family’s personal experiences I can prove that its a gain of culture. 1
I grew up in the Bronx, where in high school most of the other students looked like me, most of the student body was Latino. A lot of the books we read for class were about Latinos coming to America. Because they were so relatable books like Julia Alvarez's How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents , stuck around with me for so long. In fact all of senior year I carried around that book, so much that it was barely being held together by the duct tape i added to reinforce the spine. Alvarez writes a story about four girls, Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofia, who were forced to flee from the Dominican Republic, they then move to New York City where they have to adjust to a new culture and lifestyle. The story opens with Yolanda returning to the Dominican Republic after five years “away”, she visits her family and when she is asked about her sisters, Alvarez writes, “In halting Spanish, Yolanda reports on her sisters. When she reverts to English, she is scolded, “ ¡En español!” The more she practices, the sooner she’ll be back into her native tongue, the aunts insist”(7). Right away we see her family feeling that her forgotten Spanish is a problem, she left to the States learned English and lost a piece of her culture. They

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