Bharati Mukherjee's Two Ways To Belong In America

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Bharati Mukherjee wrote an essay called, “Two Ways to Belong in America,” as a response to Congress after they started discussing to take away government benefits from immigrants. In it she discusses her experience of being an immigrant and becoming a citizen to her sister, who chose not to become a citizen. Mukherjee wrote: “The price that the immigrant willingly pays, and that the exile avoids, is the trauma of self-transformation.” This statement is accurate for many reasons, one of which being culture shock.
The “trauma of self-transformation” indicates that immigrants, both those who become citizens and those who do not, has to go challenges and transformations when they go to a different country that are not always easy and/or pleasant. When one immigrates to a different country, the society is usually entirely different than the one they are used to. That could be anything from the country’s social norms to gender roles. Women in Middle Eastern countries do not have as many rights or freedom as another country such as, America where the women can vote, be independent and free, as well as pursue a career of her choice. When they go to a different country, they often feel pressured or manipulated into abandoning their
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Many natives of a country often look down upon immigrants or think they are superior to immigrants because they are not native or “real” citizens. Xenophobia could lead to really violent, and horrific hate crimes for those from different countries, which is why some conform. Those that conform figures that it is better to be safe and possibly alive, rather than have to deal with any sort of violence or dehumanizing remarks they might receive for being “different” or “not normal.” An example of this would be for some to opt out of wearing their hijab, turban, or any other religious garbs or any other defining cultural garbs, to fit

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