American Culture and Other Cultures’ Perceptions

Culture is a set of ideas, attitudes, and routines that define a particular group of people (Andriyenko, 2010). According to Hammond et al. (n.d.), different cultural experiences help us make sense of the world. Therefore, culture shapes our communication, work, and interactions (Hammond et al., n.d.). Hammond et al. (n.d.) also add that some of the aspects of one’s culture include language, religion, family customs, traditions, food, and clothing. However, building a culture based on these aspects takes a long period of time (Andriyenko, 2010).

Nonetheless, these cultural aspects, when shared, create a bond. This is what binds a particular group of people together, further creating a sense of belonging or pride in one’s culture. The United States is one of the few countries that houses people from all corners of the earth. Therefore, the population of the United States is made up of different cultures. For that reason, American people behave differently. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with having different cultures within the United States. However, their practices and values should not infringe on other people’s rights. Therefore, no one should use the American culture as a tool for any form of discrimination. In contrast, American culture should be used as a tool for uniting all Americans toward a common goal.

This essay explains how being positive about my American culture helps in approving or disapproving other cultures.

According to Hubpages (n.d.), assimilation occurs when different groups come together to promote unity. Although this is a very good thing, I believe that people should be given the freedom to maintain their identity because some Americans are against the process of assimilation. For instance, a few of the Hispanic and Mexican Americans want to maintain their religion, language, and family customs and traditions (Hubpages, n.d.). For that reason, the United States needs to sustain cultural pluralism. Pluralism refers to a society that tolerates cultural diversity (Hubpages, n.d.).

Individuals learn how to comprehend things through experiences within their culture. Therefore, personal attributes are a reflection of his culture. As such, one’s background strongly influences his or her life. Likewise, my life has been modeled by American culture. Moreover, I am the reflection of what America is striving for nowadays. American culture is, therefore, my lifestyle. Consequently, I represent America’s way of life. That is why I am proud of my American roots. Additionally, I appreciate what America offers to the world. Accordingly, I do not take pride in American culture because I am a citizen. Being an American to me means upholding American values. Some of these values include freedom, democracy, individualism, and hard work. Furthermore, I am also able to express some of the important aspects of American culture. Being positive about my American roots means nothing if I am not able to understand what America stands for. For that reason, pride in one’s culture makes sense when it is based on one’s achievement.

American culture consists of many aspects. Some of the things that characterize this culture include people’s physical characteristics, language, religion, family customs, and traditions. Other aspects include dressing modes, music, dance, family stories, holidays, and celebrations. However, a clear manifestation of the American culture is the shared language. The language helps people articulate their values (Andriyenko, 2010). English is, therefore, one of the major factors that unify Americans. English fosters a feeling of solidarity and identity among American citizens. However, it is important for other people in America to keep their languages alive. This helps them preserve a part of their cultural identity as well.

Understanding of one’s culture starts from values learned when one is a small child. Additionally, perception of the different cultures is based on values present at home and at the community level. Cultures are not static but develop over time. Consequently, my American culture is subject to change. Other cultures can, hence, help shape my future life. In addition, diversity is one of the greatest things that man has ever enjoyed. The American society should, therefore, strive to prevail over its hate and prejudices. No one wants to be surrounded by people who resemble him in everything all the time. If this happens, the world will be a very boring place to live in. Although I take pride in my American culture, I find other cultures exciting and stimulating. However, some cultures are frustrating and are, thus, not worth emulating. Furthermore, the difference between my culture and other people’s culture is natural.

For that reason, no culture is superior to others. People perceive other cultures from what they hear from the media and other people. This leads to stereotyping other people’s way of life. As a result, the correct picture of these cultures is distorted. Therefore, learning and understanding other cultures help a person make an informed judgment about them. Additionally, appreciating diversity in cultures is one of the ways of curbing racism in the United States. I believe that people should enjoy the uniqueness in their culture without any interference. Denying someone his cultural expression is tantamount to disallowing him his or her freedom. Some cultures may be interesting and entertaining to explore. They are, hence, a blessing to America. Nonetheless, some cultures have no place in America. For instance, killing innocent people in the name of a religion and other backward cultures should not be tolerated in America.

Some signals indicate that the American culture is superior to other cultures in some ways. This is manifested when other cultures try to imitate the American culture. This imitation is in the form of the system of government, entertainment, technology, fashion and other things. The most notable imitations nowadays are in the smart phone industry. Additionally, the most notorious imitators are the Chinese and Koreans. The Arab spring is also a typical case of the spread of American culture. America has for a long time advocated for the expansion of democratic space worldwide.

Culture shapes the way people communicate, work and interact. Culture is simply what people believe and undertake in their daily activities. When the various cultural aspects are shared, they create a bond that binds a particular group of people together. Additionally, it is important for someone to take pride in his own culture. However, this pride should not prevent him from appreciating other people’s culture. People should only shun cultures that are primitive or infringe on other people’s rights. It is also not bad to assimilate other people’s culture. Nevertheless, people should have the right to decide on what they want to do with their lives. For that reason, cultural pluralism is the best option for a country like the United States which helps people preserve their culturally identity.

References

Andriyenko, A. (2010). Is identity shaped by culture? Web.

Hubpages. (n.d.). Assimilation and pluralism. Web.

Hammond, L.D., Austin, K., Lit, I., Nasir, N., Moll, L. & Billings, G.L. (n.d.). The classroom mosaic: culture and learning. Web.