Being in a cultural melting pot has its challenges.
Coming to this country gave me a cultural identity crisis and that took me quite a while to get through and over. Just think about it. You have a certain way of being, and then life suddenly changes. Imagine that happening as a child, but old enough to remember. You grow up trying to hold on to your culture, because your parents drill that as much as they can to you. They drill to you the sayings, the food, the stories, the clothing, more stories, pictures and everything else that you can imagine to hold on to home’s culture. This all is happening while the surroundings that you live in, tell you, show you, and basically want to make you into something else. What happens then to your cultural-ness? What happens to that which runs in your veins? What happens to your natural heritage? What happens to your ancestry? What happens to you? What does that make you? A child that gets bullied and terrified for being from where she is from? How do you want your life to be if you lose a bit of you trying to make sense to this world of yours?
Some cultural identity challenges awaited me. I want you to know that being Venezuelan born and raised and coming to a neighborhood mixed with other races and cultures… Well, it all got pretty muddy. I wanted to not be Venezuelan anymore and just to fit in. I wanted to walk into a room and just be welcomed with a smile. Instead, I found sneers and smart remarks. I didn’t want to be Venezuelan any more. I wanted to be something else, anything else. My parents attended a church with many parishioners from Dominican Republic, and I wanted to be like them. Then they moved to an African American church, and I wanted to be an African American too. The same happened with other cultures. My poor parents were stuck on trying to hold on to their dear culture and having cultural mutiny on their hands.
Growing up was difficult not just for them, but also for me. I not only had to adjust on how to live in this great melting pot, but I had to find my own unique flavor. Finding out your unique cultural flavor may be easy, or may not. Finding your cultural uniqueness is very important. Either way, it’s a journey worth mentioning, worth remembering, and so important… because that journey is what makes you Culturally Delicious!
Even though you may have 100 people from the same cultural background, living in a similar area with different cultures around them… their journeys will all be unique. I would like to explore that further, because finding that personal cultural-ness is a big part of what makes you …well …. You. Everyone’s cultural uniqueness is deliciously important and gives beauty to this diverse Earth.
How have you held on to your Cultural-ness? Drop a few lines below and let me know? Because being cultural is so big and wide and the concept encompasses much of a person’s being.
So, let’s explore this further, I want to hear from you….
I’d love to hear from you. How have you held on to your Cultural-ness? Did you struggle to find who you are? Let me know your comments below, or let’s continue this conversation in my Facebook page. Because being cultural is so big and wide and the concept encompasses much of a person’s being.