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China, Mexico, USA - "what culture do I identify myself with?"


asianbm 4 / -  
Feb 4, 2007   #1
I once said to myself, "what culture do I identify myself with?" I never knew the answer to that question until I was about ten years old. The reason why it took me so long to figure out what culture I identified with was because I was born here in the United States; and here in America there are a lot of immigrants from all over the world such as Mexico, China, Italy and other immigrants that come and settle here. It means that there are a mass majority of cultures that I can identify myself with. I then realized that when I am at home I would talk Chinese to my parents and eat Chinese food. As a matter of fact, I consider myself Chinese American.

I consider myself to be Chinese American because both my parents came to America because of the war in Vietnam. They both have a Chinese accent and speak ok English at the time I was out from my mother's womb. Every dinner time, we would gather around the dining table and eat Chinese foods using chopsticks, which always consist of steam rice and about three different courses of dishes to choose from to eat, like steam fish, chicken marinated with oyster sauce, and it always contains some type of hot soup of the day. My parents would never let me use a spoon to scoop rice into my mouth, but instead to use chopsticks, and she would say, "You are Chinese not American." My parents always wanted me to talk Chinese whenever I'm at home, but I usually combined half English and half Chinese into my conversation when talking to them. Every month we would go to the temple, instead of church because is what my culture does. Therefore, these are some of the things that enrich my cultural identity.

Being an American university student, it is really a good thing for me because I get to experience what is really like to go to school and learn the American way of life. I truly feel as if this is my home within the university I attend. Here at Cal Poly, I feel that I am still at home because of the vast majority of the people I recognize to be from my own culture. Besides, I also meet people from all over the world. One thing that being an American university student, it has taught me so much both in and out of the classroom that has contributed to who I am today, and that I'm Asian-American.

While attending an American school, I feel that I fit in because of the vast majority of people. I can see myself hanging around with because they are people from my own culture. In the same way, I can sometimes talk to some of the students in Chinese because I feel that they are from my culture. Even though, most of the time I have to speak in English because we are in American society and American school. On the other hand, I would usually eat out with friend at an American fast food restaurant, instead of sitting on a dining table eating rice and choosing from three courses dishes.

Looking back at the whole thing, I think that for me I can use what my parents taught me about my Chinese American culture to my kids when I start a family. Being a Chinese American it has taught me so much about both the Chinese and the Americans. Even though Chinese people do different stuff than how the Americans do, I think that in some way we are the same. Being an American university student has taught me a lot about the American culture and my parents have taught me a lot about my Chinese culture.



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