• Nashville, Tenn.

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Regarding the April 14 letter “A battle for Japan’s future”: One of the things that makes America strong is the great diversity of our culture. I recently attended a speech given by Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mohandas Gandhi. In his speech he dispelled the myth that America is a “melting pot.” Instead he puts forth the idea that rather than assimilating the immigrants of other countries and blending them into one homogenous culture, each has added his own particular “flavor” to the country. Arun said that it would be better to refer to America as a “tossed salad.”

We all know that a salad is a wonderful dish that is brought about by the combining of some very different ingredients. A good salad combines the crispness and subtle bitterness of leaf vegetables with the sharp contrast of things like onions and radishes. The sweet and acidic taste of tomatoes along with the pungency of a good cheese and then topped with the creaminess of the dressing, each very different but adding to the whole and making its eating a very pleasant experience.

I live in the town of Nashville, Tenn. We have a very diverse population with people from many countries around the world making their homes here. This gives me many choices that I would not have if we were merely a “melting pot.” I can go to some sections of town and shop in markets that display goods that are typical of Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, African and European cultures. The one thing that unites us is our love for this big diverse country. We are all Americans or aspire to be Americans.

charles sommers

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