My Personal Culture Essay
Culture defines people’s values, beliefs, and personal interests. Culture is important because it allows people to maintain a unique identity society. Many cultures have common interests, while others may have customs that differ greatly from that of another.
Technology has had a huge impact on present day cultures. Many culture have been altered including my own, and some have been created due to the rise of technology. Cultures differ so greatly that someone belonging to one culture may not agree with the values of another, which then causes social and ethical issues.
My culture shares many similarities with others around the world; most of which have connected more people in recent years than ever before.
Cultural gaps, and lack of understanding for peoples’ values and beliefs are significant reasons why cultures fail to understand one another. For instance, I am African-American, but I don’t like to identify myself as an African-American. I was not born in Africa, therefore I do not consider myself African American.
I say this because it creates cultural confusion.
A man born and raised in Africa would not put himself in the same light as a black man born in America.Africans have their own identities, and most prefer to keep it that way. Former Yale professor and expert on African culture Tracie Reddick says “Africans and black Americans often fail to forge relationships in the classrooms and the workplace. They blame nationality, ethnicity, culture, economics, and education” (Reddick).
There are plenty of cultural gaps within race alone, and that is why personal culture is so unique and important. I have the same skin color as an African, but that is pretty much it. What may be important to someone from Nigeria could mean nothing to me.That just shows how two cultures that seem similar differ.
That is my attitude towards my inner culture, and it differs substantially from older generations. In the past, things were primarily about skin color, and issues regarding people of a particular skin color were handled by such, and not ethnicity. Black people were black people, whites were whites, and so on. The point is that by distinguishing myself from a general role, I am able to have my own identity, and I can make choices for my best interest, and not for the majority.
In spite of their differences, both African and African-American culture have been able to connect in certain ways in recent years, as well as other cultures. Technology, specifically social media has allowed my generation to connect with one another even with our cultural differences. There is a chemistry that exists within my generation that my parent’s generation never could have imagined was possible. The International Association of Business Communicators says “At its core, social media are about sharing information across boundaries.
We can now find out what we want from whomever we want.Social media is breaking down hierarchical, regional, age and cultural boundaries” (IABC). Things have changed socially, through digital means, and it’s a big part of what makes me and my generation unique. Today, people in the United States can interact and communicate with people from anywhere around the world.
I listened to some weird electronic music from France one night and it is amazing that I can do that. The internet has aided me in becoming a more cultural person; every time I see or read something new, it has the chance of altering my cultural perspective.It could be a positive or negative experience, but just acknowledging it has the possibility to change me. For example, growing up I was brought up Baptist, and attended church every Sunday.
I enjoyed going to church and I believed in my faith deeply, enough to the point where I was critical of other people’s beliefs. I used to give Muslims funny looks, and thought Jewish people were weird for wearing “cups” on their heads, and most of all, I could not believe there were people who did not believe in God.Looking back, it’s really embarrassing remembering how ignorant I used to be towards people and their beliefs. Now, I don’t even go to church, and have not been in one in almost a decade, but not going has not made me even worse then I used to be.
Not going has actually helped changed my views. The church did not corrupt me, neither do I believe it corrupts others, because if that was the case then my whole family would be Christian radicals. I was able to learn more about people and myself by putting those feelings aside and learning to accept people for who they are.My religious views are non-existent at this point in my life, but having had them has made me a better person overall.
However, there have been times where I have been a victim to discrimination n and racism, and experiencing them have done a great deal in making me understand myself. The first time I experienced racism directly was when I was on my high school track team, and we were at a race in Holmdel, NJ. My team and I were warming up for our race when a group of white students walked by and started saying racist remarks. My teammates got upset, but it did not bother me too much.
I feel like racism is inevitable, and if you are not the target of it, then you are targeting someone else. We have all said or done something racist at some point, and only some people realize how offensive and serious racism is. My generation sees racism as something to constantly joke about; and it is not because they hate it so much they joke about it, it is simply just to make fun of something or someone. The National Post writes “A majority of U.
S. teens and young adults who use the Internet say they at least sometimes see derogatory words and images targeting various groups.They often dismiss that stuff as just joking around, not meant to be hurtful” (Cass). Personally, I don’t find racism funny at all, and I have learned that if whatever you have to say is not good, then simply don’t say it.
Moments like the one I experienced at that race only strengthen my attitude towards the idea. Most importantly, I don’t feel as if I am a typical product of American culture, which is generally thought of as greedy, lazy, and materialistic. I have one of those traits, but it doesn’t entirely define me.World renowned musician Yo-Yo Ma says “Our cultural strength is derived from our diversity of understanding and experience,” and I agree, because the more you try and understand about others and most importantly yourself, the more cultured and less ignorant you become.
I try to distinguish myself from the masses not for the purpose of wanting to feel special, but so that I can identify who I really am. Like I said, I am black and American, but not African-American, I try to understand people from outside my racial group by listening to different types of music, and I am tolerant towards peoples’ views towards religion and beliefs.