Culture + Education = Limitless

ID # 3739

Asia, India

As a child, whenever we had guests come over, my mother would always give away my bedroom and told me I had to sleep on with her and my dad. I remember I asked her one day why I always had to give up my bed when we had guests and she told me this: “it’s an Indian thing. You were born in America so you wouldn’t understand.”

One key aspect of Indian culture is to honor to your guests. Guests are treated with utmost respect and given anything to feel comfortable, even at the expense of host family (like me).

When I think about what my mother said to me, it makes me so mad. I am the first generation born in America in my family; but that does not imply that I have no ability to connect with my Indian heritage. Of course, now I understand what she meant by this. I was young and to her, I was incapable of understanding why I should give up my bed to a complete stranger. What she does not know, is that I was actually the PERFECT age.

I don’t want other children to get the same response I got – “you won’t understand.” They DO want to understand, just like I did. It is this curiosity trait among children that makes them the perfect age to learn cultures – they are like little sponges who will soak up anything you throw at them.

My upbringing in a strong Indian cultural atmosphere is an integral part of my personality and who I have grown to become today. I never take it for granted nor do I abandon it because it is different than my current Americanized surroundings. I use my culture as a part of my identity and I take it everywhere with me.

Culture is important to me, and my goal here is to make it important for everyone, especially children. Culture is the one aspect of humanity that can bring together all countries of the world. We can find so much in common within all the different cultures of the world, that the only thing that would make us different than one another would be our names.

I want culture to be an integral part of everyone’s identity. It should be a key part of who they are. It is our lens to how we see the world. It is what we bring to the table of global growth.

Once we understand our own culture, we take a step out and dive into something different. Like taking off your fuzzy bedroom slippers and stepping onto the tile floor. You may not like it at first, but you find a way to walk. You get used to it and make it a different way of living life.

Cultural diversity should always be respected and appreciated. Children should be taught to be aware of different cultures, understand  appreciate them, and apply their knowledge to real people and circumstances. Children should learn from a young age the benefits of cultural diversity and use it as a way to make lasting relationships with others. Being surrounded by different cultures make us look for commonalities, rather than differences, and work toward cooperation, rather than separation.

So, what do we have? Culture and education? Well, put them together and we, as a world, are limitless.

Created By

Beejal Patal

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