There are many different ethnicities around the world, and New York City is the most ethnically diverse city in the United States. Queens is the easternmost and largest in area of the five boroughs of New York City. Today we visited the most diverse borough in New York: Queens.
As a class we were separated into pairs and told to walk around Queens and ask citizens what their nationality was and where they were from. We were given an hour and a half to get as much information as we could. My partner Donna and I came across ten different nationalities along one street; these were Spanish, Bangladeshi, Venezuelan, Indian, Guatemalan, Mexican, Dominican, Colombian, Peruvian, and Ecuadorian. Some of the citizens we tried to talk to wouldn’t talk to us and asked us to leave while others were very outgoing. Along our trip we noticed that some people from the same ethnic group were more fluent in English than some of the others we talked to. For example, we talked to a couple of Mexicans and one had been here for 11 years and didn’t speak any English while the other was here for the same number of years and spoke fluent English. My partner and I wondered if some spoke better English than others because they assimilated while others stayed within their ethnic group, preventing them from speaking fluent English.
As a group, we learned a lot about the different ethnicities there were in one city. It was fascinating to see how much diversity there could be in one area, and how segregated they were. Below I have attached some pictures I was able to get of some of the people we met and talked to. We were unable to get their names but they are from Colombia, Mexico, and Ecuador. Overall this was a great experience for us and we had a lot of fun along the way. However, one question has stuck with me while on this journey: why do some choose to assimilate while others choose not to? And why do these different ethnicities choose to stay segregated?