American Culture

American Culture

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     Every Sunday in America, there are millions of people glued to the TV set rooting for their hometown football team. One gets pride from his or her hometown that ignites a fire inside everyone’s soul. Indeed, we are all Americans, but we are all different in little ways that help keep America a melting pot. Whether you are from the north, south, east, or west everyone is affected by his or her hometown in someway. My family originated in different parts of New England, and over the years, everyone has settled down in their own hometown all across the south. It never occurred to me the significant of my hometown until I left the south for the first time to attend a hockey camp in Minnesota. There I noticed northern people talked different, played different sports, and ate different food.
     After my arrival in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we traveled three hours north to Deerwood, Minnesota. The long drive showed me many parts of the unknown Minnesota countryside that ironically reminded me of home. Throughout the week, the other boys in the camp began to notice the differences in the “southern boys” to the rest of the kids. They were constantly commenting on our strange accents and the bizarre words we used. I can recall an incident when I bought a coke at the concession stand. I asked the cashier for a coke not thinking it would confuse her in anyway. She replied, “What kind of soda pop would you like?” I was puzzled by her remark and answered by saying, “just a coke please.” Right away, I could tell by the cashier’s facial expression that she found a great deal of humor in my comment. “We only sell Pepsi products so I’m guessing you just want a Pepsi,” said the cashier. To this day I am still not sure why, but I was furious by her comment. Nevertheless, at that moment I realized that where you are from has an effect on you language.
     Over the years, the game of lacrosse has grown rapidly in the south. It seems like each year more and more high schools across the south are sanctioning the sport. However, it was not long ago that lacrosse was nothing but an old Native American pastime in southerner’s eyes. I on the other hand was familiar with the game because of its close relationship it has with hockey.

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Still I had no idea about the games popularity in the north, and never knew about the MLL (major league lacrosse). Upon my arrival to camp, I noticed many players wearing Syracuse and Johns Hopkins University shirts. This was confusing to me because I never knew people liked other colleges than the big football schools. Soon I learned the reason why when I stumbled across a group of kids throwing a lacrosse ball. I went over to introduce myself and learned the four boys lived outside of Pittsburgh. The whole conversation I was trying to think of a nonchalant way to ask them about lacrosse. They quickly broke the ice by asking me if I played lacrosse. I laughed and said, “I’m from Georgia so lacrosse is about as foreign to me as rugby.” Quickly one kid responded by saying, “I got an extra stick you want to play?” For the rest of the week I spent my free time at camp playing the wonderful game of lacrosse. I learned that playing for Syracuse was every player’s ultimate goal, and that names like Powell, Gains, and Million were considered sacred to the game of lacrosse. When camp was over, I returned home determined to keep playing lacrosse and since then have quit hockey to play lacrosse for the high school.
     At camp, we were served three meals a day in the cafeteria. Breakfast everyone had two choices, a hot breakfast or cereal. The hot breakfast was always good, and I found a lot of humor in the bizarre choices each day. I can recall having wild rice pancakes with home fries one morning. At first, I was reluctant to try it because of its unfamiliar name. Nevertheless, I decided to be adventurous and try them. To my surprise, they tasted just like pancakes from home. Lunch and dinner were much like breakfast with out of the ordinary menus. Meals like baked walleye fish and buffalo burgers seemed foreign to me. Most of which were very delicious and I enjoyed the learning experience.
     I went to the camp with the idea of expanding my hockey skills; instead, I walked away with much more. Experiencing other cultures helps people grow and learn to accept one another. Even though northern people talked different, play different sports, and ate different food deep down inside we are all Americans.
     
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