Culture is an important element of self- identity and contributes to how individuals view themselves and the community they live in. Family is our foundation. If we do not have a foundation to build on, having a strong sense of self might be difficult. Your family is where you get your basic beliefs and understanding about life. I cannot imagine not having the family I have and them teaching me what they taught me. Beliefs, social values and ethics vary depending on the community and/or ethnic group. I tend to consider culture as being types of foods eaten, religious practices, politics, clothing worn and music. The ways in which people live within the community are passed down from generation to generation. Heritage is the commonality for the members within the community that builds feelings of belonging to their community. I think of cultural individuality as a state of mind and heart. A person’s self- identity begins with our cultural heritage and ethnic integrity. We need cultural identity because of the importance of self and how we relate to others around the world. It defines who we are and how others view us. Some people struggle with self-identity more than others do. That could be do to their upbringing, friends and family. My family traditions are similar to many people who are close to me but I am sure that there are activities each of our families do differently. Because we come from various backgrounds and cultures, our experiences are going to vary. This essay will cover how we should make ourselves aware of the cultures of others so we can better understand ourselves. I will cover several poems and short stories I have read and how they relate to family traditions and self-identity. I identified with the reading “The People in Me” by Robin D.G. Kelley. He wrote about race and nationality and his being mistaken for various races by his peers. He was a black man but as his first line in the story says, “So, what...
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