Lately, I’ve seen many things involving different ethnic cultures. The first was a parody video by Filthy Frank called “Weeaboos” (warning, that video could offend). It’s really more of a parody video, so I didn’t think too much of it. Then, the second thing I saw was "Moana". Since I am Australian and this movie was about the Pacific Islands, it really intrigued me a lot, despite it not being the exact same culture as mine.
Moana’s journey to find her own culture and revive lost traditions really made me think a lot about how in touch I am with my own cultures. I am Polish, Irish, Australian, and Native American (Cherokee). However, the only thing I know about my cultures is that I go to Saint Mary’s College, which is right across the street from the Fighting Irish, and that I would sometimes get Cashmere Pulaski Day off if I was lucky.
This movie really made me realize how little I know. I don’t eat a lot of ethnic foods, nor do I even know any customs or traditions. I don’t know any languages. I don't feel very ethnic, despite my backgrounds. So my question was this: how can I get more in touch with my own ethnicity?
Honestly, I had no idea. So, as the tech-savvy millennial that I am, I took to the internet. To my surprise, I didn't find much besides a Buzzfeed video of five people taking DNA tests to find out what percentage of each ethnicity they actually are. I watched this video in hopes to learn something about staying in touch with your culture, but still, I found nothing.
So, I looked back to Moana. How did she find her culture so easily when the rest of the Island told her to just do what she had always done? And then I realized that it's because it was with her all along. It was the culture that was a part of her the entire time, and it enticed her to find out more. She felt the connection to it on the inside and manifested it on the outside. Moana was able to show her people the wonders of their traditions, rather than having them continue to fear it.
Just like Moana, I have to roll with what's inside. I need to discover what my culture is about and live it out, rather than constantly wonder. And maybe I'll find how far I'll go.