Friday, December 10, 2010

Cultural Pride

I started writing this the other day, but life gets busy and when I have to start cutting things out of the schedule, blogging goes first. It’s the final week of my intensive paralegal course, so assuming I don’t completely screw it up, as of Sunday I will have earned a Paralegal certificate. So for now that and little Gbear are taking most of my attention, but he’s taking a nap and mama’s taking a break from getting her learn on.
Anyways, I can’t even remember what got me thinking about this the other day. I’m sure it was something I saw on TV one evening, but it reminded me of a conversation I had awhile back. A friend of mine from Ireland made a very interesting point. We were discussing cultures and nationalities and he said, “How come you Yanks never say you’re American? You’re Irish, you’re German, you’re Mexican, but you never say, I’m American”
It got me thinking. Not always, but most of the time if someone asks where I’m “from”, I start a spiel about how I’m Irish on my mom’s side, Danish, Welsh, etc. on my dad’s. Now granted, most of the time, I am in the United States when I’m asked. Overseas maybe my answer would be different, but it’s true. I can never remember saying to someone, I’m American.
And I don’t think I’m always alone in this. We are one of the few countries in the world that doesn’t seem to claim our culture. Maybe that’s because we are a young (in relation to most of the world) country, still searching for an identity. Or maybe it’s because people don’t really recognize that we as Americans have a culture. (and yes, sometimes I’m guilty of this too) However, the more I thought about it, I realize that we are a melting pot. No that’s not my realization, I know that’s pretty obvious, but the blending of all the different cultures is what makes America so unique. The melting pot is our culture. And that’s a pretty awesome thing.
I think it’s a great disservice to our country and the people who have fought and died protecting our freedom to forget how wonderful the American culture can be. And if we as American's aren't proud of our culture, than the rest of the world will not respect it. So from now on, I will embrace my culture. This doesn’t mean I’ll forget where my family came from, but I’m American. (and damn proud of it)


Nike Athena said...

No, you're not alone in that response. I often answer with "German-Hawaiian" or maybe, "I'm an Oregonian," but very rarely just "American." What's beautiful about our "culture" is it such a salad bowl of different cultures mixed together. There isn't a definite definition for what it means to be American, so we try to explain our experience with our family's background. I wonder how it would influence our culture if we all did start saying, "I'm American" and dropped the context?

Steph said...

Very true. I never really thought about it like that before...

Unknown said...

Yes, cutting out dramatic friends helps immensely with cutting out drama from your life. I did this this year in 2010. And my life is much more fulfilling for ME. :)

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