We Are All One
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Politics and Activism

We Are All One

Embracing your culture is great, but what happens when it becomes too much?

We Are All One

Culture is a beautiful thing. It is part of our identities. It is who we are. Our culture represents us. Whether you identify with multiple cultures or one solely, you connect with a region of the world. The region(s) could even be where you were born, not exactly where your parents or ancestors are from. For example, if you were born in Toronto, Canada, but your parents and relatives are from Vietnam, but you don't feel that the Vietnamese side of you is who you are since you love the culture and life you have been surrounded by in Toronto, your culture can be identified as Canadian or Torontonian.

Likewise, as someone that was born and raised in New York City with Pakistani and Indian parents, I identify myself as an American or New Yorker more than as a Pakistani and/or Indian. Sometimes, society creates an idea of a culture that is not always true to the real culture. Real culture resides in the country itself, not always in the people of the culture. The same applies to religion. Religion resides in the beliefs and faith itself (like its Holy Book), not always the people that represent it. Due to my growth and development in America, I am not the stereotypical Pakistani or Indian woman people may see in Pakistan and India. I am more of an American than I am Pakistani or Indian, and that's why I don't completely resonate with my ethnicity. I'm not saying that I dislike my ethnicity and hate being it. There are things about my background that I innately admire and cannot resist, like Bollywood songs (lowkey love some of 'em). I am just saying that I am more passionate about my American culture than my Desi side.

The inspiration for writing this article comes from an argument between different but similar cultures I witnessed recently (with my nationality included in the argument). The argument was between two Middle Eastern cultures, which makes it even more ridiculous since they are both so similar due to the fact that they are both Middle Eastern. To top off how ridiculous it was, it was about why one culture is better than the other. I have never seen this type of immaturity in front of me before, which is why it absolutely shocked me to see it happen. As far as we have gotten in lowering racism in society, there is no denying that racism will always exist.

This occurrence is one of the things that made me realize how I feel about my culture. I realized it because the disagreement between the two nationalities involved my own, but I supported the nationality opposite mine. This was because my support resided with the side that displayed the better character, and that was stronger in the culture opposite mine. If it comes to the point where your background makes you an a**hole to other people, you have crossed the line past love for where you are from. At the end of the day, your culture isn't what truly matters. It's all about how you treat others.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that I don't care about my background because there are more important things besides it. I am saying that overall, it's not my number one thing like it is for others. I have an immense adoration for so many languages and backgrounds and find them all to be so extremely fascinating and beautiful. If I could, I would travel the world to learn about every single culture, even the ones that may be "rivals" with my culture or religion. I don't understand how people can hate any ethnicity. Yes, some may have gone to war or are currently at war with each other, but that does not mean we must hate every single person of those ethnicities. No culture or religion preaches hate, terrorism, or any negative vibes. How can you hate something that doesn't reflect hate?

As cheesy as it is, we are all one. We all get groceries, listen to music, take public transportation, and have loved ones. So no matter where we come from, how close or far we may be, we are all living life together. We have to deal with each other just like families, coworkers, classmates, roommates, spouses, friends, acquaintances, and neighbors do. This means we can either choose to destroy each other or grow with each other. Make your choice. But before you do, remember to be open and understanding of each other's interests and beliefs. Remember to step out of your own bubble and learn something new. Remember to educate yourself before you judge something or someone. Remember that knowledge dominates ignorance. Knowledge dominates hate. "Knowledge is power." -MLK.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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