Cultural Assimilation

What is it?
Cultural Assimilation is the merging of cultural traits from previously distinct cultural groups. It can be forced assimilation or it can occure freely over time.

Cultural Assimilation has been occuring throught all of history. As long as there are two cultures that have "found" each other, assimilation will take place. It can be in the form of language changes, social changes, food and style changes, changes in music, art, and literature, and even a change in mindset can occur. One specific example of forced assimilation, is that of the corean culture when it was partially destroyed by the Japanese government.

Altered public monuments, including several well-known temples, palaces, scripts, memorials, and statues

Songs and poems originally dedicated to Korean Emperors were re-written to adore the Japanese Emperor

Two of the more notorious events included the Sungnyemun, a virtual symbol of Korea, which was altered by the addition of large, Shinto-style golden horns near the roofs (later removed by the South Korean government after independence),

The incident of Gyeongbokgung, a former Korean palace which was demolished and the Japanese General Government Building built in the exact location. In 1911, the government of Japan demolished all but 10 buildings during the period of Korea under Japanese rule, constructing the Japanese General Government Building for the Governor-General of Korea in front of the throne hall.
many ancient Korean texts that were discovered mentioning Korean military and cultural exploits or Japan's historic inferiority and uncivilized behavior such as Wokou were deleted methodically

In general, the awareness of Korean history among Koreans declined during the Japanese reign.

Forced name changes occurred, as it was called Changssi-gaemyeong.

Classes focused mostly on teaching the history of the Japanese Empire as well as glorification of the “Heavenly Sovereign”. Korean students were made to worship at Japanese Shintō shrines regardless of their religious beliefs, swear an oath of loyalty to the Emperor of Japan, and show their support for Japan's “Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” policy

Students were academically penalized for the use of the Korean language during schooltime. Eventually the use of Korean language was “forbidden in all schools and business

Cultural Assimilation has devestating effects on the groups of people it involves. Many times cultures loose a part of themselves and part of their heritage is forgotten. It causes tensions amoung peoples. Today, many countries in Europe such as Belgium, France, and Germany, are having difficulties with accepting the muslims that have come to reside in these areas. The muslims feel their culture is being threatened, while the European countries feel Muslim is a threat to them. For these reasons especially, high tensions are rising, which could cause possible crises. Assimilation makes us lose cultural diversity. Not only is it accidental, but when it is forced, it can lead to much worse problems such as discrimination (taking place in Europe and America as we speak) and even possibly to such extremes as genocide.It is the duty of each individual to accept others for who they are, and to make sure that the heritage of different cultures may continue to live in and grow with time.
external image r1229110256.jpg Muslim women in Canada, trying to maintain their culture while Western culture wants them to change. An image of cultural assimilation ( )
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