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The Reasons of Importance of Culture

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Culture can have different connotations to individuals, however culture to me means beliefs or customs people grow up learning rather than being born with. Nevertheless, I do believe even if we may not share the same traditions or beliefs, we have all have something in common which is characteristics of traditions and customs that are transmitted over the generations through learning and interacting within a group. You are born an a specific environment and taught different morals, beliefs, behaviors, knowledge, traditions, and a specific language from where you come from. Culture can be shared among others in their certain group, therefore individuals share a familiar cultural identity, meaning they place themselves and their culture traditions different from other traditions and people. Since culture is an ongoing cycle of reforming, it is an efficient system that connects many parts together that are interconnected to operate as one.

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I come from a Mexican culture, however my parents were not born in Mexico. They were born here in the United States. My grandparents were born in Mexico and my parents learned from them, and taught us about our culture. I consider myself made up of certain things I identify myself with, which is Mexican-American culture, school culture, family oriented culture, and Christian culture. However the way I identify myself is not what others may believe, it can be different because we did not all grow up the same way. Holcomb (2013) stated, “For instance, people usually associate sombreros, tacos, Catholicism, and the Spanish language with Mexico and consider these marks as the culture of Mexicans (pg 15). Speaking from an outside perspective, there is plenty of controversy about Mexicans. I learned Spanish first before knowing any English, I had to learn for school. I lost a lot of my Spanish, and speak more English at home now. I am a Christian and many believe Mexicans are Catholic. We may not see what others think of our culture, but we tend to take it offensively and wish it was different. Although, culture is more than one meaning and people tend to associate our culture by our ethnicity.

Growing up Mexican-American, I was taught many things, such as traditions, behaviors, beliefs and customs that may be different from other Mexican traditions. I was not born in Mexico and my family is not always celebrating Mexican Holidays as most families do, such as Ash Wednesday, Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, All Saint’s Day, etc., which makes me different because I was taught different beliefs than most Mexicans. Even if, I may not celebrate or have the same traditions my family still celebrates other holidays such as, the day of the Holy Kings. However, the most important aspect in the Mexican culture is family. Baker (1995) stated, “Mexican Americans spend much of their non-working time with their families. Many adult Mexican American call their parents every day and have dinner with them nearly every weekend” (pg. 60). To me, being Mexican and American is being able to embrace, celebrate, and explore my heritage with family. He also states, “their most frequent social activity is joining with relatives for activities… The extended family celebrates both American and Mexican holidays together” (Baker, 1995). It shows the importance of what family gains from the native individuals of Mexico.

Being a college student, I consider myself apart of the college culture. Within this culture, I am apart of the Pre-nursing culture because I can relate to those who are also graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. This is a new way of culture for me, because everyone has the goal to help others in the later future. Not only students who are in the same major as me are all striving for their BSN, but all college students even those we are wanting to attend college are wanting to make their families proud and doing it for their culture. American Educational Research Association (2002) stated, “reinforcing expectations has shown that effective college cultures invisibly and seemingly effortlessly shape students’ college preparation and decision-making through interactions with knowledgeable staff who inform students about college requirements, vocabularies, and resources” (pg. 11). Being a first year in college, there are many subcultures within the college culture which means, a culture that derives from another culture. Attending college is a great way to learn and observe many different cultures. Also, the way a subculture group of college students speak, behave, or even dress starts to become similar overtime as you start to learn the different norms within that group.

Another great aspect of my culture is I am Christian. Christianity is definitely something important to my family. Just like every culture has a set of values and beliefs that people within our culture obey by. Growing up, I always attended church and being the believer and follower of Jesus Christ is something I have believed in my whole childhood until now. There are no certain rules to believe in God, you must be knowledgeable with the bible and learn about God to be able to believe in him. These blogger stated, “Christians are shaped by the cultures they inhabit. Which means we need to be aware of how it shapes us, and others – and challenge it as necessary. And through it all, proclaiming the gospel must take centre stage” (Balogh, 2017). This reinsures those who proclaim the gospel can shape us to the human beings we are today. Being apart of the Christian culture is a great way to learn more about the word of God and to believe in him, and to be able to further connect with the Christian culture.

However, I may not be apart of the Deaf culture, I personally believe it is a unique culture with different set of norms but yet essentially connects Deaf individuals together. The Deaf community slowly became known as the Deaf culture. For this reason is because American Sign Language created a cultural system because they use sign language as the main way of communication. Just like every culture, the Deaf culture also shares similarities and differences within their social group. Most cultures have there own native language they speak rather then just English, as for mine it is Spanish. For The Deaf culture there way of communicating with one another is through Sign Language. American Sign Language can be viewed as a visual spatial language because you are able to see and observe what the person is telling you with their hand motions. According to Holcomb, “All languages utilize arbitrarily created symbols to assign meanings to the objects they represent (Pg. 115).” There are many different structures and ways to communicate with others. There are not many differences with ASL and the English Language, we tend to use different phrases to get our message across without having to say the full word. Many cultures can have their own way of expressing what they feel or what they are trying to explain.

Everyone is unique in their own possible way, and every person has their own life story. We all can relate or have similar culture traits, however Deaf individuals are all unique in their own way. This author stated, “The art, literature, language, and religion of a community represent its culture. Our cultural values and beliefs manifest themselves through our lifestyle. Our moral values represent our culture. The importance of culture lies in its close association with the ways of thinking and living. Differences in cultures have led to a diversity in the people from different parts of the world” (Oak, 2018). There are many different communities in today’s world and it is changing dramatically and becoming more accepting.

 

 

 

References

  1. 6 Important Reasons Why Culture Should Matter To Christians – Part 2. (2017, February 19). Retrieved from http://akosbalogh.com/2017/02/20/6-important-reasons-why-culture-should-matter-to-christians-part-2/
  2. Baker, R. (1995). From the Book Dos Mundos: Rural Mexican Americans, Another America. Utah: University Press of Colorado. doi:10.2307/j.ctt46nz7c
  3. Holcomb, T. (2013). Introduction to American deaf culture. New York, N-: Oxford University Press.
  4. McClafferty, K. A., McDonough, P. M., & Nunez, A. M. (2002, April 5). What is a College Culture? Facilitating College Preparation through Organizational Change. Retrieved from http://www.bridgingworlds.org/P-20/McClafferty.pdf
  5. Oak, M. (2018, March 19). Why is Culture Important and How Does it Influence People? Retrieved from https://opinionfront.com/why-is-culture-important

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