It is known that economic integration, transportation and communication and immigration are important processes of globalization. Immigration takes a special place in this list because it causes the development of globalization to a far greater degree. According to the anthropological researches, we can find out obvious interrelationships between immigrants and the societies in which they migrate in order to build a new life. An ethnic group is a group of individuals who are united together by common cultural, linguistic, religious and behavioral traits. Due to immigration of this or that ethnic group we can find some changes in the cultural process. My goal in this paper is to analyze African immigrant group which includes the immigrants from Kenya. The number of African immigrants in constantly growing. Comparing to other immigrants Kenyans are well-educated and they speak good English.(Terrazas, 2009)
Kenya is located in East Africa, near the equator and has the population of more than 29 million people. According to the anthropological data, more than 40 indigenous ethnic groups live in Kenya among which are the Bantu, Nilotic, Nilp-Hamiyic and others. Most of the Kenyans are Christians but there are also some other religious groups such as Protestants and Roman Catholics and some indigenous religions. It is known form the history that Kenya and USA have had rather good relations since the declaration of independence in Kenya in 1963. Many Kenyans made their decisions to leave their own country and to migrate to the Unites States. (Rudolf, 2010)
The reasons for immigration include the following ones:
”˘ economical crisis in the country;
”˘ high level of unemployment;
”˘ desire to get good education and get a well-paid job;
”˘ desire to live in the civilized country;
”˘ historical background;
”˘ desire to live in the democratic country.
There are certain evidences of cultural change within this ethnic group of immigrants. For example, Kenyan immigrants became more communicative and relaxed. They feel free and do what they want. They can earn money and get rather good salaries for their labor. They changes some of their customs and wear the clothes according to American fashion. There is also a special organization in the United States where the Kenyan immigrants have a chance to get some help or support. For example, The Dalaware Kenya Association or DEKA. It is a non-profit organization for immigrants from Kenya. It was founded in 2001. It is engaged in different issues concerning the immigrants from Kenya. The headquarters of this organization is in Newark, Delaware. This organization helps to built “a more understanding and tolerant”ť community. The members of this organization not only help the Kenyan immigrants to find a good job or to get a good medical treatment, they also help to develop Kenyan culture. For example, they organize special sessions for little children in order to share the culture through songs, dances, poetry, drama and so on. (Delaware Kenya Association)
The process of culture change includes the following:
It is known that Kenyan immigrants enjoyed “a fairly smooth assimilation process”ť. They are not only well-educated and have some special skills which they successfully use in their work, Kenyan immigrants also can easily find a new job. So, they have no problems with unemployment in the USA. Health care professions and different technological professions are widely used by them. As English language is widely spoken in Kenya the Immigrants from Kenya have no linguistic problems in the United States.
Of course, there are some problems in the process of assimilation. The immigrants from Kenya are subject of prejudices concerning race discrimination in the American society.
Kenyan Americans try to maintain their customs and traditions although some traditions cannot be observed in the USA. For example, hunting and warring rituals, prayers and dances connected with agricultural events and so on. They also try to wear special clothes on special occasions but in most cases they wear modern American clothes.
Most of Kenyan immigrants are students. They are renters because they cannot afford to buy a dwelling. Many immigrants have a lot of relatives in the USA. They live in destination areas and can support in case of necessity. (Nyamwange et al.,2001)
Obama’s victory in the presidential election which took place in 2008 meant a lot to the immigrants from Kenya and other African countries because Barack Obama is the son of the Kenyan immigrant. (Reed, 2010)
The life of Kenyan American became better. The White Americans respect them and support in different initiatives. They have free access to all the services in the country, their legal status is protected by the US law.