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My Cultural Autobiography

Essay by   •  April 8, 2018  •  Essay  •  1,227 Words (5 Pages)  •  309 Views

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My Cultural Autobiography

                                

Introduction

Do you know who you are? As I sit here and ask myself this question, I don’t think I can say I have once misplaced or questioned my identity. I am many things: a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a believer in God. I am also very loving, caring, goofy, insecure, loyal, anxious, and a sinner. I think to really know me, is to know the faith I have in God and the family I have that has always supported me. My identity is a result from my upbringing along with the communication I have experienced with people of different cultures, as well as the same culture I identify with.

Background

I come from a very small community where everyone knows everyone, and we are all pretty much the same. When it comes to diversity, there isn’t a much of it in the small town of Hawkinsville, Georgia. I have never been much of a traveler, and the places I have visited never included a foreign country. So, to say I am somewhat sheltered to diversity within other cultures would be an accurate statement. I have, however, had enough opportunities to experience and observe most races/cultures, whether it be a trip to an out of town mall, the news, social media, or with my place of employment, and I respect the presence of all diverse groups I have encountered.

I was born and raised in a rural area where everyone had similar backgrounds. The majority of the residents are of the same economic status, social class and most have equal job experience. There are some with wealth, in which we would consider upper class, and there many who are lower class, but majority are right in the middle. My family and I would consider ourselves middle class, because we don’t have the best of everything, but we don’t have to want for anything either. My father has worked since my parents were married so my Mother could remain at home and raise my siblings and me. We are a conservative family, so I was raised with Christian values, as well as a positive work ethic, knowing I had to work hard to achieve my goals and live the life I desired. I can thank my family for instilling this value in me, because it has helped me achieve many goals in life.

Communication across Cultures

I am the middle child of four siblings. I had two older sisters, but one passed away in 1998 after a fatal car crash, and I have one younger brother. We are all extremely diversified in age, as my older sisters were 17 and 14 when I was born, and my brother is ten years younger than I. Despite our difference in age, we are a very close-knit family. Going through the death of my sister was extremely difficult for me and my family and is primarily to blame for why we haven’t traveled the world to experience different cultures the way that others have. We stayed very close to home and wouldn’t travel far from the county line. I still sometimes envy my classmates that were able to attend college out of town, because I never really got the chance to experience it. In no way did my parents keep me from the experience, but I didn’t want to cause any additional worry or stress on them. After my sister’s death, I grew very close to my parents and needed them just as much as they needed me. We have always been together and grew even closer after this terrible life event.

This family tragedy has influenced me tremendously in the way I grew up, and my life thus far. I kept to myself throughout school, with only a small circle of friends. I was extremely shy, so I would try my best to avoid confrontation of any kind. The hometown school I attended did welcome exchange students, and I did become friends with a girl from Russia. She spoke fluent English, so she seemed as if she could have been born and raised here. She didn’t speak much of where she was from, but she seemed very timid and shy and I feel she just wanted to fit in. Most of the teachers in my school were white, middle-class, monolingual-English speakers. The teachers knew their students and their academic abilities individually, rather than relying on racial or ethnic stereotypes based on prior students with the same background that we tend to see with many diverse educational systems. The racial and ethnic enrollment in my school was, in my opinion, normal for a public school. I was among the 49 percent of the Caucasian race. We probably had a majority of African-American students of around 51 percent, and we also had a small percentage of Mexican students, and an even smaller percentage of Indian students. These are only estimates of mine, based on what I remember. Looking back on memories of my K-12 schooling, the diversity of race and ethnicity, social class, gender, religion, and even sexual orientation helped shape my schooling experience by giving me social, cognitive and emotional benefits that I carry with me today. I think it was the positive interactions with classmates from different backgrounds that provided me the ability to be comfortable working with different colleagues and customers from diverse cultural backgrounds. I am currently employed at our local bank, where the diversity of customers is high, and I must be understanding and sensitive to the subject while working for a diverse public.

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