You are on page 1of 5

Martinez 1

Javier Martinez
Professor Corri Ditch
English 113B
17 February 2015
Cultures in My Life
Society has created so many complex foundation to our way of living that individuals
forget where thing come from or is important, and culture is one of them. Culture has so much to
offer than the simple definition of race; culture is quality in a person or society that arises from
a concern of what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits according
to dictionary.com. In other words, culture is not just an ethnicity, but a form of union, by people
who the same beliefs, behaviors, values, and characteristics. However, even though there are
many cultures, other than ethnicity, both my Hispanic and American cultures has influence me
the most. For instance, my Hispanic culture has taught me the values of respect and dedication to
be part of my identity. For my American culture I was taught the values of socializing and
diversity. Having different cultures is having the chance to express my identity differently, as
well the opportunity to learning something new from each culture.
In my Hispanic culture, I got most of my identity, thanks to the loving environment my
parents and grandparents made for me. I was thought to always be respectful and courteous to
others. However, when I moved to California is when I really saw my culture stand out because I
was in another place or space. For example, in the essay Self-Identity and Culture by Ronald
L. Jackson II, Cerise L. Glenn, and Kesha Morant Williams, state People tend to only really
think about their identities when they are in crisis or when they are displaced or moved from
where people believe they belong (Jackson, Glenn, Williams 120). According to the essay I was

Martinez 2
more noticeable of my culture or identity because I was exposed to a new environment, which
was different to my previews one. Moving into a new space made me identify different aspects
about myself and culture. I found that I was a very nice person and welling to help people. I
believe I got this thanks to my culture and seeing my grandmother, as well as other individuals,
put other before themselves especially family. I adopted this trait because it gave me a good
feeling of knowing I helped someone or maybe had their day a bit better. I also noticed I was
more implanted to be a hard working person than going to school, due to the fact that my family
did not go beyond high school education they just began to work. It was no my families choose
to stop going to school but was the society and their need for survival. I was told stories by my
parents that their society did not give them the luxury to continue school because they need
money to pay bills and food. From this, I was implanted to be a hard worker and appreciate the
family I have and the lessons they taught me. Because with this trait, values, and beliefs I can
move on and also achieve my goals.
However, in my American culture I have also gain and adapted some of the cultural
identities. Some people may say that having different cultures will be hard to balance or that
individuals will lose one culture, but in my case I grew and build on what I had. Having another
culture did not cause me to lose my Hispanic side, in contrast I improved on it by connecting it to
the American culture. For instance, I was a bit less loud compared to the American culture, in
fact I was always unnoticeable to participate in class. However, the American culture has shown
me that being different is not such a bad thing. I started to be more outgoing and participate on
more activities, causing me to discover my social and friendly side of me. To my parents I have
changed because according to them I am going out too much with my friends. I understand in
our Hispanic culture, especially in my parents, I need to be more with my family than anyone

Martinez 3
else. But I also learn that friendship can be a powerful tool, similar to family. The change did
affect me at first and it was hard luckily I had faith and my family, as well as my friends, to
guide me to the changes I encounter. The American culture wanted diverse people for jobs and
schools because they saw differences as a strength to be innovators or bring a new prospective. I
also notice how I was encouraged to think different and think of the future, in contrast to my
Hispanic culture. In Self-Identity and Culture states how People learn to adjust their notions
of self based on the new social roles they take on as they grow older and interact with new
people (Jackson, Glenn, Williams quote Mean 1934). In other words, people do change when
they encounter new culture or norms of the society, but they do not change me into a new person.
I did gain a new way of thinking about not just myself but the world around me. For instance, I
view the world with just one lens without knowing there is much more. There are opportunities,
adventures, discoveries, and relationships with others. In other words, there are so much more
then working and stressing out. I learn that it is okay to have fun with friends because you can
also learn from those experiences. I let a friend into my life and the payoff has been so great
because when I dont have my parents to count on I always have my friends. The American
culture has giving me a new prospective to explore on.
Having different cultures is a helpful natural lifestyle that makes me grow into the person
I will be. For me I cannot live with just one culture, it will be like having the same day over and
over without any change. For example if I only had my Hispanic culture I would be so stuck in
the present not thinking about my future, my environment, or my options in life. I see cultures as
different beliefs, values, and lifestyle that are meant to fit a specific individual. Because no
culture can fit every single person, a society builds different cultures to identify each other.
However, when I change cultures I am seen as white wash, in Mexico, and I am seen as Mexican

Martinez 4
in California. This happens because the interaction of both cultures makes me be seen different
by my appearance or by my characteristics. I notice I have changed, grew in knowledge, but the
culture has stayed almost the same. The different interactions I have with each culture make me
grow more, while a culture only changes if everyone has changed their mind into a similar view.
Like in the book Rhetoric for Radicals by Jason Del Gandio stated Those who control
language control the mind, and those who create language create reality (Del Gandio 107). Like
the author implies a reality is not so easy to change but is possible to change with language.
Language is another thing that is different about my two cultures. In my Hispanic culture
I get to speak only one language which is Spanish. In contrast to American culture there are
many languages floating around but mostly English is spoken. Even though each culture has its
own language I am able to understand and speak both English and Spanish. This shows how the
two cultures can be untied and not replaced. This also shows how I have gain from speaking one
language to adapting another one.
All in all, individuals come from different backgrounds, cultures, lifestyle, and
experiences that develops each person to think, act, and see different from others. In other words,
there is no one culture that can fit every person so people try their best to find themselves in
different cultures. I have found my two culture that have shown me what it is to belong to
different culture without losing sight of each. Both my Hispanic and American cultures has help
me through my life and I am sure I will find many more that will shape me into a better person.

Martinez 5
Del Gandio, Jason. Rhetoric For Radicals. the National Library of Canada: New Society, 2008.
print.
Jackson II, L. Ronald, Cerise, and Kesha. Self-Identity and Culture.
print.