Diversity in America: A Look into the rich culture of our nation

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By Courtland Blake

Through my recent work covering and helping out with U-Nite, I was surprised by the diversity I found. I never realized just how many cultures and languages are represented in our school. I met kids that were born in or whose parents were from Indonesia, Afghanistan, El Salvador, the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Ghana, and more. During interviews with these students, many of them said the thing they most liked about the United States is its diversity. I realized that I had taken for granted how many cultures we get to experience here.
America is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world and was created and built by people from all different nations. Today, immigrants are still affecting America’s cultural fabric; according to the Census Bureau, every 33 seconds a new immigrant moves to the United States, and with them an abundance of traditions and customs. America is a mixing pot of so many cultures and heritages that contribute to a variety of foods, clothes, and traditions that I often don’t think or know about. There are also countless different languages spoken by these people; in the United States, there are more than 300 languages spoken, according to the Census Bureau. Many of the students I interviewed spoke additional languages to English, which I think is an incredible skill to have.
Loudoun County also reflects America’s diversity and it’s quickly growing. From 2000 to 2016, Loudoun County’s foreign-born population increased from 11.3% to 23.9%. We have people from a variety of countries, with 50.7% of Loudoun’s foreign born population from India, El Salvador, the Philippines, China, Vietnam, and Peru.
I also think it’s great that America allows people to be united through the ideals of liberty and equality while still allowing them to celebrate their diversity and unique heritage at the same time. Immigrants can keep their traditions and customs from their home countries, but can also integrate into our society and gain new traditions and customs from America.
Through interacting and appreciating other cultures, we can gain a better understanding of the world around us and of how others live. I think that becoming more aware and appreciating America’s diversity is important for us as students. Being able to appreciate the differences in everyone is a really powerful tool in interacting with others in the real world. In our new age of increasing global connection, appreciating new ideas, views, and customs will expand our cultural view and show us how others eat, celebrate, love, worship, and communicate around the world.