Ignorance can be one of the most hurtful catalyst, which I can think of. Ignorance can cause one to say the first thoughtless perception a person has in their head. For example, a seventh grader learning about the Hindu religion and reincarnation in social studies class and then asking the only Indian student in the class if they were going to turn into a rabbit in their next life. Imagine, take yourself back to middle school, filled with insecurities, constantly changing body and your preteen attitudes, how would you react to such questions?
Because of the closed-minded society that we live in, it is often hard to learn from other cultures which inevitably hinders our ability to understand one another. Now given that this particular incident happened in the seventh grade, not much negativity can be taken from it. At the same time it make you wonder how a seventh grader can ask such a question. Children learn from what they have seen, racial slurs, mocking other cultures, disregarding other cultures entirely is what some parents actually teach in their homes.
From what I have said previously it would seem that citizens of small towns would not be as intrigued by other cultures but that honestly depends on who the person is and who they are surrounded by. My best friend, is fascinated with various countries and people from those countries. She would sit and listen to me tell stories about the new people I meet every day. College can be a cultural shock for some people, it wasn’t as much of a shock for me personally as it could have been.
I am an immigrant, I was born in India, I grew with a traditional Indian family, and with that living in America it was not the easiest to mix the two cultures together. Looking at colleges, the ones in the Atlanta area, starting with Kennesaw State 63. 7% of the student population are ethnically white, 17. 1% are Black/African American, 3. 3% are Asian, and 1. 9% are international students. It is ranked 496th nationwide in ethnic diversity. A more globally known university such as Georgia Tech 61. 3% of the student population are ethnically white, 7. 1% are Black/African American, 20% are Asian, and 10. % are international students from 83 countries. It is ranked 373rd nationwide in ethnic diversity.
Comparing these two colleges, first you have to begin by looking at their individual locations. Georgia Tech is in Atlanta, home of one of the biggest international airports. Hundreds of thousands of people arrive everyday, Georgia Tech is also an older more well-known university. Georgia Tech has already developed into a university known for its, “Asian population. ” Also looking at the stats the student body at Georgia Tech has more exposure to international students compared to Kennesaw.
There is 9% difference between the amount of international students in Georgia Tech vs. Kennesaw State. Now with technology many people share their stories about traveling, meeting new people, or college. One of the most well known blogs is Humans of New York, this has spawned multiple blogs just like it. Along with Humans of New York there is also Humans of Atlanta and Humans of Bombay and amateur photographers that travel and use Facebook to introduce their friends to the different cultures not far from us.
Humans of New York,(HONY) author and creator Brandon, allows all of the followers to see a different view of the citizens of the world. This blog showcases stories New York inhabitants and the people Brandon meets on his travels. The stories include, love, travel, heartbreak, struggle, winning, losing, any and everything you can imagine because each person is different and their story is different. Blogs like HONY allows others to learn and open their minds to others perspectives. This isn’t always enough to make the integration process for immigrants easy.
As it has been previously stated now it is easier, the current generation have access to blogs, international students, and the internet. The older generation, our parents essentially, did not have access to all of these things. Along with that certain people have a set mentality in them, once people think a certain way, that’s it. Recently there was a Facebook post from a fellow Kennesaw State student, stating that a member of her class was enraged because two international students scored better than she had on an exam they recently took.
Why is it that some international students are considered dumb while others are cheated off of? It is a time thing first of all, all major societal changes require time. Slowly the current generation has accepted the changes and become to work with the cultures around, these skills they will pass on to their children and so on. Closed-mindedness is a learned trait, no one is born one way or another. Society as a whole will take time to change but now that the change has at least started there is hope for a more accepting society in the future.