Culture is an exciting topic for me. This is because I am always fascinated with how some people identify with a culture different than their ethnic culture. In some circumstances, the best answer is to identify yourself as a citizen of the world.
We put so much emphasis on gender, generation, sexual orientation, countries of origin, and religion. Why don’t we emphasize a person’s cultural preferences? Do you pick your cultural practices or do you just inherit them, and they belong under country of origin or religion? Does identifying yourself with a culture mean you follow its general practices? Are you considered an outlier if you don’t follow these particular cultural practices?
I’ve always thought about these questions. I guess culture may guide your way of thinking, and I believe that you can change it later. Perhaps we hold our culture dear for its sentimental value. Perhaps we want to identify with a particular group of people because of childhood memories. Maybe we have an innate need to belong to something greater than ourselves.
For me, it tends to be a very simple question: What cultural habits do I hold true to when I am the minority in a culture I do not identify with.
When you figure out what culture you identify with, find out about others’ by checking out how to communicate across cultures.