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America The Contact Zone

5 Pages 1373 Words

America the Contact Zone
Growing up in America with Taiwanese parents has given me a firsthand experience of what a contact zone is. My life experiences depict America as a “space of colonial encounters, the space in which peoples geographically and historically separated come into contact with each other and establish ongoing relations, usually involving conditions of coercion, radical inequality, and intractable conflict (Pratt 180).” My encounters with different people have shaped my opinions of life in this contact zone. I believe that prejudice does exist. I can’t say if acceptance and complete co-existence between cultures is possible, but there is a chance it is.
As a little kid growing up, my parents influenced me a lot. My mother read to me when I was very young, she was determined to have me integrate into American society. Like the teacher Anzaldua mentions, my mom believed “to be American, speak American (Anzaldua 75).” My mother also encouraged child learning television programs, such as Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers’.
In addition to encouraging me to become literate in English, my parents also instilled their values in me. Having lived in Taiwan most of their lives, my parents’ values were different from “American” values. I was taught to be quiet and obedient. My parents stressed the importance of never questioning authority and to work hard on whatever I do. My first experience of culture conflicts was in the first grade. I found many of my classmates unrefined and obnoxious. At the immature age of 6, I guess it is understandable for a child to act wild and to be loud. I thought most of the 6 year olds in my class were uncultured, however. The inculcation of my parent’s values within me made me different from the other children. My teacher Mrs. Friedman, would always complain to me about my reservedness. She would tell me I was a good kid, but I had to speak more. Mrs. Friedman thought I had soc...

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