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"Culture refines us"; Princeton essay- Role of Culture!!


sj1912 3 / 18 1  
Dec 27, 2012   #1
Using the quotation below as a starting point, reflect on the role that culture plays in your life. "Culture is what presents us with the kinds of valuable things that can fill a life. And insofar as we can recognize the value in those things and make them part of our lives, our lives are meaningful." (500 words)

Culture refines us. It is the varnish that adds sheen to our personality. Our social norms, clothing, housing and food habits are majorly governed by our culture. I hail from India, a country blessed with myriad cultures that are distinct from each other but amalgamate at certain junctions in a subtle manner. It seems rather outrageous to question why I touch the feet of my elders or eat a spice-enriched curry but I have always harboured the idea that these activities are not without purpose.

My aunt had been (posted) in Indianapolis for a short period and had established a strong relationship with her senior American colleague, Pat. A few years ago, my aunt invited Pat to India to attend her marriage and as I was fluent in English, I accompanied her at all times. One of the common features of India is the existence of joint families in which 2-3 generations live together. I had never considered this aspect as atypical but she was surprised to see our house jostling with relatives who undertook every task from sweeping the floor to serving meals. She marvelled at the smooth functioning of the household despite the large number of members. For the ceremony, my mother lent her a traditional sari and matching jewels and helped her dress. In all the rituals that followed, she was made to participate as a mother-figure. She was so emotionally stirred by the love and attention showered on her by everybody that she kept shedding tears of joy and thanking everyone profusely. She told me that she had never experienced such hospitality anywhere and would always remember us as her own. She left the country with an exuberant smile.

Her happiness demonstrated the significance of the quote we have been taught from our childhood-" the guest is God". I also understood why we live in a joint family when she appreciated this uncommon concept: the older generations raise the younger ones with selfless love and the latter repay their sacrifices with care in their old-age. It teaches us to adjust to various kinds of people and to embrace the new people we encounter. I realized the role of culture in my life: it moulds me into a better human being. It presents some lessons of life which otherwise would have taken a long time to be discovered.

Every country has its own culture, which adds a unique flavour to each of its citizens. A culture cannot be successful if it remains exclusive. It should evolve with the times, adopting the positive attributes of other cultures and eliminating the negative ones of its own. I know the worth of my culture and have accepted it as an essential guiding element of my life. It is a little difficult to decipher the purpose of every belief and practice of my region but a universal truth prevails- culture lights up the path filled wonderful aspects of life and if we choose to tread this path, our lives will become all the more meaningful.

-Do i do jujstice to he prompt??
-Is this essay good enough for the ivies??
AssAche 2 / 2  
Dec 27, 2012   #2
I think its nice and innovative.And yea this essay is good enough :)
mela3 2 / 37 2  
Dec 28, 2012   #3
I think your essay is very good. You are clearly quite intelligent and have a strong vocabulary. However, that can hurt you. There are moments in your essay in which it seems like you are trying too hard with your vocab. For example, "I hail from India, a country blessed with myriad cultures that are distinct from each other but amalgamate at certain junctions in a subtle manner." Try to make this sentence a bit simpler. I love your vocabulary, but using so many of these complex words at once doesnt always send the right message. Best of luck to you! =)


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