Intercultural Interview Paper

701 Words3 Pages
Similar to international students residing in the US, it seems like “first-generation” Americans also relate their mother tongues to their homes. In Beale 2017, bilingual person who has immigrated to the US from Russia when she was only five has lived in Brooklyn, New York City since then. Beale 2017 explains that New York City is a very diverse city where “a sense of communal identity” (Beale 2017: 1) is preserved in “large neighborhoods of immigrants from same cultural heritages” (Beale 2017: 1). This Russian-based bilingual individual, whose identity was profoundly shaped by her family, friends and neighborhoods in her youth, identifies herself as a Russian as opposed to Russian-American. Because of New York City’s own peculiar vibe, people would call themselves by their mother countries.
In relation to the interview with Beale 2017’s bilingual person, another interviewee from Baydar 2017 is also a first-generation American from Italy living in Queens, New York. Even though her first language was not Italian but English, she still identifies herself as Italian person, noting that she “belongs to the Italian culture more than American culture”
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Their ability to speak both their home language and English makes even harder for them to choose one identity to another. Some say that it is the first-generation Americans’ duty to “create their sub-identity” (Emmert 2017:4) that could identify their being parts of more than two distinct cultures (Emmert 2017). The journey of finding their new identity is indeed demanding; however, through testimonies of the above-mentioned first-generation American bilingual individuals, we can see that they tend to identify and relate themselves to their mother countries and heritages rather than merely identifying themselves as “Americans”. We can also notice that through their mother language, they gain comfort and reminisce the feeling of
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