Friday, February 27, 2009

US is Diverse Yet United

If I sum up my perception of US society in one line I end up writing “US is diverse yet united”.

One would say US is one of the most diverse nations, a global melting pot yet phenomenal unity. When I first landed in Washington DC, I found White, Black, Hispanic all around, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus; it was common to find Churches, Synagogue, Temples and Mosque.

Then I went to Charlotte North Carolina, it is known to be biblical belt, churches all around, to me all of a sudden as if I landed on a conservative religious land. In the morning I could hear church bell sound, I spotted a huge mosque as well. It seemed religion really matters in that society, mostly German origin conservative immigrants.

Then left for New York, a liberal east cost business district was logically cosmopolitan; it was just like any other big city.

But when I landed on Mormon land Salt Lake City, UTAH then I realized that yes US is very very diverse and again question rose in my mind, what really makes it united. Utah State is conservative, religious Mormons is dominant religion, one is not allowed to order drinks without ordering food. Bars and restaurants have boards informing people about Utah law. I realized, is it the same liberal America or I am in a conservative Middle Eastern state. During the presentation at Governors office, with trade and economic related officials, it was amazed to get to know that each state compete in wooing or attracting the foreign direct investment.

Charlotte trade promotion officials explained how Hollywood movie industry was attracted to come over and make movies in North Carolina through tax incentives. There are counties, which are completely dry ‘alcohol is not at all served’.

During my last interaction in Seattle, I came to know US has not signed Kiyoto Protocol on Environment but Seattle is part of it. It was amazing to find diverse, competing, independent states, with diverse population ‘race, caste, creed’ economically compete with each other and the beauty was the UNITY under the flag of US.

Small Balkanized multi ethnic states respond to small difference with violence, there are so many lessons one may learn from US to achieve unity in spite of diversity.

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