To Capture a Culture

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Our country as a whole should try to be more open-minded to other cultures. We should strive to not only promote ourselves, but to listen to what other cultures have to say. The countries of the world today are a lot more open to other cultures, making it easy for us to learn and grow from them. The more cultured we become, the better people we will be. From my view of other cultures I have learned the way they deal with things can sometimes be better. Other times our way is better, but there is always room to grow. New things should be learned daily from new cultures. My mother is a native-born French woman. I on the other hand was brought up as a pure American, barely learning anything about my French heritage. I’ve always had a desire to go there though, to learn the language, to embrace the culture. I never thought it would happen as it did.

It was a few months before we were to travel to Bordeaux, France to visit my grandparents. My mother started to vigorously teach me French. It became clear that I wasn’t born with an ability to speak it naturally as I had previously thought. I spent grueling hours learning, speaking, and practicing with Mom. Every time I thought I was almost done, I found out how little I truly knew. As I practiced, I found myself imagining French culture through the French language. I thought I knew how it must have been to grow up in France.

Then the day came when we left for France. I felt ready and excited about the future. When I actually arrived at my grandparents’ house, I found out how truly different France was. My grandparents had lived their whole lives in the countryside, tending to their vineyards and animals. They viewed the world from a very different perspective than me. Where I saw something weird and different, they saw a new opportunity to learn. Where I saw rules to keep us in our place, they saw guidelines that could be manipulated if need be. Where I saw a need for certain decisive measures, they saw a need for...
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