Cultural Identity : What Makes Me, Me? Essay

Cultural Identity : What Makes Me, Me? Essay

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This is a journey of self-discovery to understand the fundamental meaning of what makes me, me? All of us have a unique identity and culture. An Identity are a sets of social expectations related to ourselves and others that are grounded in the interplay between similarities and differences and pertain to the personal, relational, and communal aspects of lives (Hall, 102). In other words, it is our identity that makes us who we are. On the other hand, Culture is defined as a historically shared system of symbolic resources through which we make our world meaningful (Hall, 4). Culture is how we as individuals make sense of the world. So what is Cultural Identity? Cultural Identity allows us as individuals to feel a sense of belonging to a particular group. It is culture that plays an important role in shaping your identity. The values and morals that you learn as part of your culture are passed down from generation to generation and is the reason that sets you apart from everyone else. It is my cultural identity that makes me the person I am today.
Growing up in a middle class family in Mumbai, India, my cultural identity is a mix of my religion and my Indian heritage. I belong to a minority group of Roman Catholics. It was the Portuguese who established a number of colonies in India and founded Catholicism. This gave rise to “Luso-Indians” which are mix of people of Indian and Portuguese decent (IBT, Web). Like all minority groups in any community they are typically seen as outsiders or, at best, marginal members of the community (Hall, 122); there was always a sense of disconnect from the dominant group; the Hindus & Muslims. As a result, my parents who are traditional Catholics made sure religion was a focal point in my life fro...


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...le in defining my identity. One of the most powerful expectations that form our identities is the very language that we speak (Hall, 105). Growing up in a household with English as my primary language and Hindi as my secondary language. It came to a shock to many people that I couldn’t speak Hindi all too well. My inability to speak Hindi some how made me less of an Indian. What people failed to understand was that I was not trying to be less of an “Indian” or that I was embarrassed of my culture it was just the way I was raised.
All in all there were multiple factors and not just one that played a part in shaping my Cultural Identity. Even though I am not a practicing Catholic or living in India I do carry with me the values and beliefs I learned and I believe my cultural identity is constantly evolving, learning new values and morals now from the American culture.

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