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Cultural assimilation, or 'assimilation' for short (but that word also had other meanings), is an intense process of consistent integration when members of an ethno-cultural group, typically immigrants, or other minority groups, are "absorbed" into an established, generally larger community. This means a loss of all or many characteristics which make the newcomers different. A region or society where assimilation is occurring is sometimes referred to as a "melting pot."
From a historical perspective Assimilation is the process by which an individual or minority group loses its original culture when absorbed into another culture; in the context of colonialism, a policy of total integration of colonies into the colonizing country. It is often remembered as a painful or coercive event.