People immigrate into foreign lands because of a myriad of reasons ranging from education and employment opportunities to political asylum for political leaders, exiled populations, and refuge for people suffering from war. Regardless of the reason behind immigration, immigrants are faced with a set of situations once settled in the new country. Most of these situations, according to (Forum 6), include losing friends and family, language barriers, cultural variations, loss of jobs or careers, lack of access to services, discrimination and stigmatization, loss of identity, one's status and social networks, and isolating impacts of government policies. (Duyvendak 4; Forum 4; Mukherjee Ch.4) All concede that a common feeling associated with a majority of immigrants is loneliness, nostalgia, and the apparent loss of identity. Mukherjee in her fiction work The Tiger's Daughter and Wife show the problems immigrants face as they try to adapt to the new environment and American culture, and this depicts them as rootless. The desperate ones try even to break ties with their native cultures in their quest to acquaint with the American culture. Some of the immigrants fail to feel at home in their native homes when they happen to go there. This paper aims to research credible articles on the life of immigrants in their new environments with the purpose to establish the reality of the feeling of rootlessness and deductively generate knowledge on the situation of immigrants.
Apparently, an immigrant's life is a matrix of a good mesh of stressful situations being predominantly the lost identity and the emotional breakdown. Whether the immigrant is a war victim, a student, or an expatriate, the move into a foreign land comes with some excitement and hope initially. However, with the setting and the exposure to the reality of the new land, the hope and the excitement wither and reduce to nostalgic episodes and loneliness. This research reviews some literature, fictional and factual, about the life of immigrants and draws lessons both personal and classical about what life means for immigrants.
Bharati Mukherjee is the author of the book The Tigers Daughter and Wife. Mukherjee is as Indian lady who goes to America for further studies. While living there, she gets married to a Canadian, Clarke Blaise. The two live together in the United States shortly before moving to Canada for a short stint. In Tiger's Daughter, Mukherjee writes about Tara, an Indian immigrant student just like Mukherjee was, who in her quest to adapt to the American culture is shown to be rootless (Ch. 4). Mukherjee shows the confusion and the desperation of expatriates that appear in their quest to disjoin themselves from their native cultures. Tara goes to America to study where she falls in love and gets married to an American writer, David Cartwright. Tara returns to her home in Calcutta only after seven years. In her trip back home, Tara is confused. She is more westernized and experiences episodes of cultural conflicts in Calcutta. Taras decision is to return to David in America. Initially, in America, Tara has to deal with permanent discrimination. She becomes homesick. She even tries to bring a little India to America: she prays to goddess Kali and even hangs silk scarves in her residence to make it appear more Indian. She is not easily involved into the American culture and appears to loathe it. She, however, resists the odds against her and, finally, gets resolved and handles the conflict of cultures.
When back in Calcutta, her relatives are critical of her. They think that the American ways have corrupted her, and she is changed and stubborn. They do not approve of her foreign husband. Tara is also lost because Calcutta she was nostalgic about being in America had changed. She even abhors the shabbiness of the houses at Vassar and is apparently appalled. Calcutta is changed so much that lawlessness and activism are rampant on Calcutta streets. In her marriage with David, Tara is critical of her cultural backgrounds and does not oblige into letting David into her way of life. Tara is alienated at every point of her life ever since she leaves India for America. Apparently, her return aggravates and intensifies the confusion and the loss of identity that is vivid. Her relatives label her America Wall and her husband Mleccha, terms that both mean an outcast. Tara's predicament reaches a breaking point when she is defiled by a politician, Tuntunwala, and she decides to return to America to her husband. Although Mukherjee does not tell us whether Tara was able to do it amidst the chaos, she becomes to understand herself on her way to the airport (Ch. 4). The episodes in Tara's life from the time she goes to America show how lost Tara is and, in the big picture, points at the precarious episodes immigrants face.
The other source deadline with the issue of immigration is a research of Bharati Mukherjees work done by Asha Jacob. Her review focuses on the mental detriments that immigrants have to encounter in foreign lands. Susan says that "Every immigrant sex and nationality, notwithstanding, experiences a horrible transitional stage. They are lonely, desperate, estranged, and they feel in nowhere, and an existential angst torments the immigrants. (Jacob 41). Mukherjee is herself a proponent of immigration and tries to identify the distinction between an expatriate and an immigrant. Mukherjee opinionates that expatriates tend to rely on to their native selves given the alien cultures. Jacob then uses Mukherjee's novel Tiger's Daughter to establish that the character of Tara is displaced both at home and in the foreign land.
The cultural breakdown impacts a great deal on the immigrants mind. This is the mainstay of Asha Susan Jacob. She states, The sensibility of the immigrant is torn between the two differing socio-cultural environments (Jacob 42). It is the mindscape of the immigrant that is severed by the confrontations of life in the new environment. Discrimination, alienation, culture shock, and loneliness all impair the psyche of an immigrant. According to F.A. Inamdar, Taras efforts to adapt to the American society are measured by her rejection and revulsion of Indian modes of life (Jacob 44). Taras character in Tiger's Daughter is soaked in the foreign culture, which has become something of her new self to a point she fails to realize where her real home is. Tara is apparently disgusted by Calcutta she had found; she misses Calcutta she had been attached to in her initial years in America. However, on her return, she is disgusted by everything. From the people's attitude, the activities, the infrastructure and everything that is not similar to what she experienced in New York.
Barat says that "Tara's mind is ever in a dilemma with the two personalities one Indian and the other American (Jacob 44). This double-mind portrayal of Tara is epitomized by her religious attitudes. Asha Jacob states, While Tara complained in New York that she could pray, she sticks to Kali for protection (Jacob 45). Despite her marriage to an American, her prospects are not bettered. The differences in culture between Tara and David hinder harmony and progress. Jacobs alludes to the fact that Tara has failed to be assimilated into the new life.
The other book about the life of immigrants written by Julio Osorio is called How to Survive Being an Immigrant. Julio Osorio is a Columbian immigrant who is a second-grade bilingual teacher at J. Will Jones Elementary School. The material is Osorios unit notes for his lessons on How to Survive Being an Immigrant' to help immigrant students settle in the USA."I came here (America) looking for two things: looking for a chance to get into a Master's Degree program and seeking for an opportunity as a bilingual teacher in Texas, Julio Osorio (Osorio 144). Julio admits that being an immigrant is tumultuous because of feelings of loneliness, sadness, nostalgia, melancholy, homesickness, depression, solitude, separation, and isolation. These feelings, he concedes, differ from person to person and, in fact, to others it is not that tasking, especially ones that are enthusiastic about moving. Julio's concerns, however, are centered on children immigrants. Children are ignorant about how they handle the situation. Julio purports that many children have immigrated into America due to the forced migrations. Julio categorizes immigrants as either pushed (refugees) or pulled (voluntary settlers). As a teacher, Julio sees that his students did not have a choice, they were brought to America by their parents and had to live with the situation as it was (Osorio 144). He came to America from Columbia partly to avoid the local situation, and many Columbians like himself were forced to emigrate.
Students have got a myriad of adaptation challenges to cope with in their environment. Mentors and teachers should be the moral support to such students as they try to establish themselves in the new environment. Julio, thus, focuses on how students, families, and educators would be integrated into the society. Julio devises a plan to help immigrant children get settled in the foreign land. He conclusively states that (Osorio 153) the United States is a home of many immigrants. They are also aware of their cultures and values that they continue to embrace.
The next source is a report on the refugee and migrant situation in London prepared by the Forum organization. The title of the report is This is How it Feels to be Lonely.Through interviews with migrants and refugees, the Forum organization established loneliness and isolation as the major challenges migrants face in the United Kingdom. 58% of those interviewed mentioned loneliness and isolation as their most big challenge in London. However, other problems were also cited by the interviewees. The feelings of loneliness and isolation amongst the migrants are a stepping stone to depression, death, and reduced quality of life (Forum 6). Immigrants face a completely different life in the new environment. This would culminate in trauma and damaged well-beings. The health of the migrants is what is severed most by the wholesome negativities of life in a new environment. Especially, it concerns those who have been forced to migrate. Many asylum seekers are faced with the problem of policies developed by the governments due to myths associated with immigration. Some of them are restricted in employment among other freedoms and experience the lack of means to support themselves. The resultant effect is trauma and mental disorders. Migrant refugees are restricted from accessing healthcare services, and this only aggravates the already unstable situation (Forum 11). The other contributor to the episodes of loneliness and distress is discrimination, according to the report. Suspicion is a part of every migrants life. Muslim immigrants are treated with suspicion and, thus, discriminated in most Christian oriented nations like the United Kingdom.
J. W. Duyvendak in his book The Politics of Homestates, Coming from the Netherlands, a country buried in nostalgia for past time adventures, I was hit by a comparable nostalgia in the American public and political landscape. A big difference, nonetheless, existed: in Western Europe, nostalgias mainstay is the lost nation; American nostalgia is enshrined in the lost family life (Duyvendak). For many sociologists and anthropologists, modernization and globalization imply that people must move. The increased mobility of people in this era has served to negate people's attachment to place and space. Thus, modern Universalist theory postulates that modern man is homeless, and some scholars have further created links between homelessness and nostalgia. The Particularistic theory agrees that with the increased movement, people are increasingly non-attached to places.
James Jasper, a Particularistic proponent, scholar, and author, writes, Scholars are famed rootlessness, from college and graduate school and continuing later, as the most successful and happy to move from one university to another, now and then, in search of higher salaries and prestige... (Duyvendak 15). Jan Willem states that mobility and modernity are both closely interrelated (Duyvendak 18). Americans are viewed as people who are always ready to move to embrace opportunity gaps. The road to them is home. Duyvendak is, thus, not critical or skeptical of movement. What he tries to establish is whether it is necessary that people remain rooted in nationalism in the face of globalization. The world today has these two phenomena coexisting, especially in America and Western Europe. Events of 9/11 in America awaken a great deal of nationalism, and this has severed the American treatment of immigrants (Duyvendak 21). However, the increased movement of people due to modernization and globalization means that immigration is inevitable. For Americans, however, their attachment is family-oriented and their nostalgia is the related places; they look back at the cultures they forfeit Vis a Vis from the new culture. Third world immigrants are torn between embracing the new culture and gaining economically or clinging to their native cultures and remaining in economic oblivion.
The modern world cannot object that it is the phase that has seen enormous cases of population migration and the resultant immigration into foreign cultures. These emigration/immigration trade-offs are a consequence of many human-to-do-with reasons. Populations of the third world are usually being pulled to the developed world (Osorio 144-145) due to the promises of better opportunities. The developed world has its populations moving as expatriates seeking to get better jobs and salaries elsewhere. African populations are in constant move to Asia and the Middle East in search of jobs. In Eastern Europe, masses are emigrating and immigrating for security reasons. The crisis in Syrian territory has led to an upsurge of immigrants of Syrian origin in European nations. Globalization and international trade require the constant movement of people and goods, and thus, people are in constant movement as they seek to conquer new markets. Education has also become a global interest, and students are willing to get the best education they can afford. Universities are global institutions giving incentives to would-be students worldwide to try and become accepted among the best brains.
With the given matrix of global issues, it is inevitable that immigration will disappear in America and the entire world. The developed world should especially brave itself as the greatest recipient of the immigrating people. Many of the governments whose nations are experiencing the influx of migrants are trying to devise policies to curb the trend. Some of the policies formulated are so stern that life for the immigrants transforms into great suffering buffered with feelings of nostalgia, homesickness, loneliness, depression, and alienation amongst a tremendous stack of other negativities. Whether the immigrants move due to desire or have been forced to move, they at least experience one or two of the emotions described above. Some of the immigrants nasty experiences begin right at the customs desks when they are being cleared. For those who have to move across borders as immigrants, their situation is only the worse. Suspicion and discrimination take center stage once migrants settle in the foreign country. Whether the motive behind the move was pushed or voluntary, the immigrants are bound to get the same kind of treatment. My personal experiences at the Airport in Moscow serve to show the manifestation of this fact. I had not acquired American citizenship, and I was neither a Belarusian citizen. It even took some time for my documents to be cleared, and the Citizenship' line was filled None.' I had lost my identity, both on papers and in me.
When these experiences settle properly in an immigrants psyche, such people begin to feel lost, out of place, and unwanted. The episodes that ensue are those of weighing and creating balance with emotions. An immigrant may be greatly appalled by the situation in the foreign state and start having regretful thoughts and nostalgic fits in them. However, the same people are equally resentful of the situations back at home. It is the battle of emotions: whether to keep to the newly found environments despite their negativities or to return home. Through hard work, some immigrants manage to get past this phase and become excited about the new environment. Some will even confuse this new experience for mutual acceptance in the new surroundings. However, immigrants should not accept their hard work to become adapted in the new environment as goodwill from the host communities. They should realize that their hosts still view them as suspicious as they did the first time the immigrants set foot on their soil. This means that the immigrants are still treated with lots of contempt by the natives. An immigrant should live like an opportunist. They should work hard to adapt to the new environments, but they should realize that getting adapted there does not mean that they are rooted there. Those who realize the latter exploit the opportunities but they understand that their indigenous places still hold on to them. Thus, they should strike a balance between attaching themselves to their indigenous roots and keeping to the better opportunities they access in the foreign lands.
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We provide direct communication between you and the assigned writer, which is highly encouraged
The only thing that is left for you to do is click the “Download a File” button so that you can finally get your hands on your final paper.
The paper has reviewed secondary sources on the immigrant situation across the globe with a vested interest in the type of life the immigrants live. Regardless of the reason behind immigration, immigrants are faced with a set of situations once settled in the new country. Most of these situations are challenges and include losing friends and family, language barriers, cultural variations, loss of jobs or careers, lack of access to services, discrimination, and stigmatization. They also involve the loss of identity, one's status and social networks and isolating impacts of government policies. The research has also established that the modern world is mobile meaning that the immigrant situation is not coming to a foreclosure. People will move and get settled but, conclusively, rather than getting torn by emotions, immigrants should work hard to strike a balance: to get adapted and benefit without necessarily breaking ties with the native cultures as that is where they are rooted.
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