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14      Living in Colors

  Diversity (d&-'v&r-s&-tE, dI-): the condition of being diverse.

Being in a city of more than ten million people, in New York City alone, things can be intriguing, if not, diverse. Based on a recent census, immigrants make up 40 percent of the City’s population, they create more and more diversity each day.

During the early decades, immigrants arrived mainly from Southern and Eastern Europe, from countries such as Germany, Ireland and England. Nowadays, they literally come from each corner of the globe. The main streams of immigrants that come to New York City are from Latin America (eg. Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, etc.), Asia (eg. China, India, Korea, etc.), Africa (Nigeria, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, etc.). Basically, everywhere.

As for the result, there are many sections of the City that represent different cultures, languages and nationalities. It is to everyone’s knowledge, in neighborhoods such as Jackson Heights, Corona and Elmhurst, there is a strong influence of Spanish culture. The same goes to neighborhoods such as Flushing (Asian culture), Harlem (Black culture), Bensonhurst (Italian culture), etcetra.

An obvious outcome of the different cultures is a diversity among people who live in the City. In fact it has become so great that New York City is no longer called a melting pot. It is more like a salad bowl, with different colors and textures.

For instance, one fine day, as I was taking a subway ride, reading a book called ‘Eating Chinese Food Naked’, there was a Chinese couple sitting right in front of me, talking. They were so loud, I could not help but tried to figure out what they were arguing about. With my lack of Chinese knowledge, I only caught bits and pieces of their conversation. The man accidentally stepped on my foot, he did not say anything.

At the next stop, there was a black couple came in and took seats next to me. They both took Ham-and-Cheese sandwiches with fries out of a brown paperbag. The woman accidentally jostled at my direction, she immediately apologized to me. They were so quiet they were whispering throughout the ride.

Never did I notice that just across us, there was an old white lady flipping through New York Times at the same time cursing at an Indian man sitting in front of her because apparently he kept staring at her. She was complaining how rude the man was. Meanwhile he totally looked like he was in daze.

And that, my friend, only happened in one subway ride. Imagine if you were to live in the City. New York City is well-known as a city of the most racially and ethnically diverse in the US.

In other words, ‘Diversity’ is differences among groups of people and individuals based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, language, exceptionalities, religion, sexual orientation, and geographic region in which they live. Either you implement diversity to enrich your life, or lose it, big time.