Preservation of Culture
New York University
DEEPING ESSAY 2
There is not a definition of an “ideal life” that I could think of. I would say that “ideal life” is a creation of what makes people happy from their own experiences. It is what people are, what people look for and what people think it isessential to their personal life. As we grow, life leads us in several directions. We understand that there are many situations that make us grow and change in life. The people that are around us, the environment where we interact with, the society that we are part of and the place where we grow up in have a strong influence in the way we behave, think and feel. It becomes part of our identity.There are many situations that can affect our identity and the creation of what the “ideal life” means to us. Situations like leaving the country for any reason can lead us to have self- identity issues, racism, discrimination and the end of customs and beliefs from own culture. As an immigrant, from Colombia, I can tell from my understanding that moving to another country is not an easy task.It is one of the events that most affected my life. There are two essays that describe migration from two different points of view but with shared consequences of it. In the essays "Lost in Translation" by Eva Hoffman and "The Way to Rainy Mountain" by N. Scott Momaday reflects how migration was the turning point for Eva Hoffman and Momaday’s grandmother lives. In both of essays, the pastexperiences played a role and the preservation of their culture was their common trait.
In her essay “Lost in Translation,” Eva Hoffman describes us her feelings and experiences of her of migration when she was 13 years old. She and her family moved to Canada from Poland-Cracow, after 1959. “Lost in Translation” remember the moment that she and her family were leaving the country. Their feelings,gestures and thoughts of what they were leaving behind. Eva Hoffman struggles in holding her emotions “I feel that my life is ending” and also “I am suffering from my first, severe attack of nostalgia, or tesknota – a word that adds to nostalgia the tonalities of sadness and longing” (176). The essay provide us a brief idea of what they were living during that time in Poland. During this time, Germanywas taking over control Poland. As a consequence, this was creating conflict, death and despair for the Jewish population.
In addition, Hoffman’s fear of going to go to a new place was described in her essay. “The place we are going- Canada- I know nothing (177) was more like a challenge for her. She did not want to be in a place that she did not know anything. Her memories, dreams and hopes wereinclusive in this new place that she was going to, “I do not want to be pried of my childhood, my pleasures, my safety, my hopes for becoming a pianist” (177). She was aware of what could be achieved if she would stay in Poland. Years later, Hoffman had an opportunity to looked back and remember her childhood and what it represents for her. Cracow and especially her room symbolize a paradise forher, that “ideal place” that each person creates of what they think is important. Hoffman recalled her last memory of her born land “when it came to leave, I, too, felt I was being pushed out of the happy safe enclosures of Eden” (177). Throughout “Lost in Translation”, Eva Hoffman combined the way that she felt, the way that she lived, the experiences and dream that she had with her happiness.Her room was her safer place in the world. It meant “home and the universe” (177) for her.
Since migration was one of the main topics of “Lost of Translation”, I relate myself in many ways. As a Colombian Immigrant, to the United States I would say that the process of coming was one of the most difficult obstacles that I have ever overcome in my life. This essay reminded me the feeling that I had...