Melting pot or salad bowl?

I read with interest the special report "The Melting Pot in Public Opinion," March 27. Articles such as this help us to see what is good about our country and reinforce our best held values.

However, I would like to suggest another metaphor other than "melting pot." I believe that our country is more a "salad bowl" than a melting pot. The melting pot metaphor gives the impression that the ingredients melt together to make one homogeneous product; the separate ingredients give up their identity to achieve that homogeneity. A salad bowl, on the other hand, has a variety of ingredients each of which maintains its own identity. Walter R. Smith, Lynchburg, Va.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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