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In the modern world, culture has been regarded as the prism by which people judge their environment, thus determining what is right or wrong, correct or improper, fair or considered odd. According to Belfield, we feel the cultural shock as we immerse ourselves in a new culture. Furthermore, cultural diversity enables one to identify, comprehend, and appreciate the various cultures we encounter. The significance of this paper is to help us learn the right ways to integrate into a new society. My mother and her siblings were brought up in a white neighborhood. My grandparents were are a very educated lot of people and lived in the city. Further, my mother growing up in an environment of white people meant that the probability of her ending up marrying a white man was very high. Moreover, they used to attend schools designated for whites only and finally; my mother got married to my dad who is also white.
On the other hand, my siblings and I have been brought up in a very different environment. We live in the city filled with people of different colors and cultures. Therefore, we have a taste of multicultural diversity. Moreover, in school, we have friends from all cultures. For example, I have this friend Mike, who is African-American and comes from Georgia. During the holidays, I asked for permission from my dad to go and visit Mike at their place, and he agreed to drive me there. I was very anxious to visit my friend as this was a perfect chance to break from the usual. At Mike’s place, there were lots of activities to experience as he had always narrated to me in school.
On arrival at Mike’s place, the differences were visible from the look of things. The most significant difference from the white people was the way of dressing. Since the medieval times, African-American people have been known to have a significant difference in the way they dress. Notably, they have a very high addiction to fashion. Most of the African-American people wear unique clothing that has exceptionally woven patterns. Arguably, the most common form of clothing ranges from casual T-shirts to formal bow ties and cummerbunds. Further, it is very evident that they also incorporate traditional African dressing patterns in both official and informal occasions.
Mike’s mother had kept her hair natural which is another significant difference with the African-Americans. Notably, hair styling is very different for blacks. Most of them like to style their hair as afro, twists, braids, and even wash and go styles. Like Mike’s dad, most of the aging men in the neighborhood had their heads shaved and completely free of hair, a remarkable difference compared to the white people who like having well-kempt hair on their heads.
Further, African-Americans listen to very different genres of music and hip-hop is one of the most listened to genres of music. Nevertheless, the most notable difference was the kind of food. Most of the dishes are prepared simply and have a great taste which is very different from what we usually cook back home. Further, most of the food is prepared traditionally and is highly rich in fat, sodium, and starch. Therefore, this type of food is highly suited to the physically demanding lives of the people and the food contributes to the low cases in diabetes, obesity, and heart disease which are more familiar to the city residents.
Without a doubt, it is clear that one should not judge people based on their culture. The most important thing is to appreciate and respect the differences between the two cultures. Cultural diversity influences how each one of us can contribute positively towards the larger society. Clearly, cultural diversity is the only thing that we have in common.
Belfield, Lisa D. "Cultural Diversity inthe United States – Kaplan University". Kaplan University. N.p., 2017. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.
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