The Cultural Melting Pots Come with a Cost: the Surrender of Precious Local Peculiarities and Identities

Short Culture Articles

Short Culture Articles


The big tech companies, the likes of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, the ones with deep pockets and yet striving for deeper (big fish and hungry), often spend billions buying small niche unique tech start-ups (small fish and vegetarian) and incorporate their mechanics into the grand scheme of corporate culture and goals. The small guys get a fat pay off, and dreams become a nameless mechanical wheel in the race for the future.

Similarly, our metropolises, giant melting pots with a very special type of gravity absorb culture, color and tradition into the nearly constant shade of grey society. Take New York City for example. Vibrant dreamers and go-getters among throngs of immigrants simply seeking a better world, buzz around its epicenter like mosquitos around a light bulb.

Culture and roots are precious to all. So the bigger groups form fortresses to preserve them. Such as Chinatown, Koreatown, Jackson Heights for the Indians, Astoria for the Greeks and Eastern Europeans, Brighton Beach for the Russians. But these strong holds of culture wither away, ask the Italians! These fortifications get blurry around the margins and are constantly shrinking.

More and more, the minorities mingle and intertwine. They compromise in order to fit in the new world. To blend in! Accents fade away, habits take shape according to universal trends. The fat American lifestyle is alluring and inviting and in an arm’s reach. The past is gloomy and distant. Would they give in! May be not! But the next generation certainly will. Born in the Promised Land and spoiled by its conveniences. The NYC uniform fits everyone, just give it time.

For now the sample of cultures is not uniform and the minorities are still holding on to their roots. But as the strength of the hurricanes blazing through our cities grow, the grip on those roots loosens. The world is headed towards unity. First comes economical, then political, and cultural is bound to follow (way down the road). The cultures with the largest footing might absorb the minorities but customs will not disappear. They will blend and merge into a whole new entity. Or will they?



Photograph by Julio Tapia


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