A question on culture

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by ThE_DeAd, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. So I'm prepping for a conference on international development in South America next week and we were asked to meditate on afew questions as we prepare to interface with one another in a multicultural environment. One question in particular really challenged me to look at myself from a perspective I rarily considered. The question was as follows:

    When you think about your own culture (your own country, your own region, your own people) are there things, aspects, emotions you feel particularly connected/identified with?

    I am so used to growing up in a Scottish/Canadian household that I actually had no idea how to answer that without researching my own heritage and nationality to help me think. That said, this little project was incredibly enlightening, lots of fun and actually helped me to appreciate my own culture even more.

    So it is with this in mind that I challenge you all to do the same. Post your responses in the comments section below. = 3
  2. That puts me in mind of a conflict I had for a very long time. In my not so long ago younger years I was fairly adamant about my "anti-damsel" status. A perspective I created to announce to the world, or perhaps just to myself, that I was a capable individual all by myself. The problem is that humans are social creatures and we can't know everything about everything. There are always people that are better at certain things and there's nothing to be ashamed about it.

    Im now doing much better at working with my strengths and asking for assistance when it's the best use of everyone's time and resources. Trade is a wonderful thing.

    But it got me wondering where I got this misguided belief system. It was my friend that pointed out to me that it was practically the mantra of where we live. The Pacific Northwest has the group identity of "Rouged Individualism". There are plenty of positive aspects of this perspective, but as is obvious, plenty of pitfalls as well. So now I'm independent and capable but by using my strengths, not trying to be something I'm not.
  3. The culture of the area that I live in is a very outdoorsy and laid back one. The midwest, and my state/city in particular are known for being health conscious and also very relaxed socially. I'm not sure if the region affected me or if I just fit in well with this area, probably a bit of both, but I've always felt that a lot (not all) of impressions of the state overall fit me as a person quite well.

    As far as my country goes, the first thing that came to mind is something that occasionally comes up in conversation with others. I know that the ease at which I can get into college and the general expectation that I would go has really impacted me, because there are so many colleges and most people can get accepted into at least one of them. The knowledge that I can go has pushed me to do my best in grades and tests because it's not just about being able to, it's about going to a good school. This tendency to want to not only get something but get the best is, I think, a fairly common American attitude. This is a part of my thinking without even my intention for it to be.
  4. Hrm...

    My grandparents are originally from China, hailing near the border between China and Vietnam. When war broke out between the Chinese and Japanese, my grandparents fled to Vietnam. There, they had my father. My mother is also born there but her parents too are from China. When the Vietnam war broke out, they all fled to the United States, where they had me and my brother.

    My family is very very Asian. We eat with chopsticks all the time, we have rice with every meal, there is an altar in our living room and Chinese paintings and Chinese sculptures on our walls and mantle. Throw in the Western culture and we have some major conflict. >.< Identity has been very hard for me to come to grips with. Am I Chinese? Am I Vietnamese? Am I American? Sometimes there are times when I know who I am or who I'm not, but other times these conclusions are hard for me to stick with. There are things I love about my Chinese heritage, and things that I hate. And the same goes for my American heritage. However I will say that I am very grateful to have been born in America because the expectations of a female in the Chinese culture goes against every fiber of my being. That being said, I am also grateful for the intense familial ties that exist in a Chinese family.

    This conflict of identity is very prominent in the area that I'm from. I know that a lot of the first and second generations take solace from everyone else's struggle. We can relate with each other, and even if we aren't from the same culture we still enjoy learning about each other. The diversity that exists in my area is where I take pride from.