What Makes You an American Resident? Essay example

What Makes You an American Resident? Essay example

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Subconsciously, she has always known what it’s like to be an American. Growing up in an immigrant, military family taught her that— having been swathed in its multi-colored blankets of diversity and opportunity since the day she was born. She remembers the chiding words of her mother as she taught her the Pledge of Allegiance for her second day of kindergarten. There were freedoms, she had reminded her, underlying those words— “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”— that we should never take for granted. It wasn’t until years later however, after a visit to the Philippines that she realized what her mother truly meant—as well as that something more, something deeper was a part of being American. It began with a simple question. “What are you?” her cousins asked. Their heavily-accented words, laden with curiosity, hung in the air. “Filipino? Or American?”
“Um, American?” No sooner had the answer left her lips, her cousins rebuked her— pointing out her disregard to the Filipino blood ran that through her veins. It had never occurred to her nine-year-old mind to take that into account; she had always thought that simply living under the Amendments that granted her the freedoms to live out her life defined her identity. However, a revelation struck her as their freely expressed their opinions loomed before her faltering conviction. For the first time she realized as she stared at her cousins that other countries shared those same freedoms as well. How come they were not considered an American? What made an American? That girl was me— Nicole Caiga— when I was nine years old.
Had my maternal grandfather— “Tatay” as we called him— not died five years before, he could have given me the answer I desperately sought. ...

... middle of paper ...

...f one’s birth alone doesn’t make a Korean, Filipino, American, or any other nationality for that matter. If that was the case, my parents wouldn’t be the Americans they are today. Instead it is the decision to identify oneself with whatever country one puts action behind their hopes, dreams, and future.
My ethnicity may be Filipino, but like my parents before me, I am an American.

Works Cited

Houston, Jeanne. "A Tapestry of Hope." Creating America. 4th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2005. 146-47. Print.
Kang, Younghill. "A Korean Discovers New York." Creating America. 4th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2005. 60-61. Print.
"Maryland – DP-1. Profile of General Demographics: 2000." The New York Times. 24 Aug. 2009. Web. 04 Oct. 2010. .

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