Is Assimilation Possible For First Generation Immigrants?

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This one got a bit hot.

As some of you know, Elvis and Ermin are 1st Generation Immigrants. They arrived to Canada as refugees (from Yugoslavia) when Elvis was about 11-12 yrs old and Ermin was approximately 7-8 yrs old.

Ermin, at least in part do to arriving in Canada at a younger age, feels quite assimilated into Canadian/Western culture..but Elvis doesn’t. The fact that Ermin arrived to Canada at a younger age might explain in part why he feels more assimilated but it certainly doesn’t tell the whole story.

How would you define assimilation? Can you still hold on to the old culture but be assimilated into the new? If you identify via national identity that you are American or that enough to make you American or Canadian or do you need to totally disregard your ethnic identity?