In the previous article, we discussed cultural identity. Now, we will help you construct your first cultural identity essay. A cultural identity essay is similar to other essay forms since its parts are the same – title, introduction, thesis statement, body, and conclusion. It’s safe to say that a cultural identity essay is like a combination of a personal narrative and a reflective essay. The only difference is that you’ll need to describe your culture and how it shapes your life – related experiences, aspirations, factors that influenced and still influence you. Essentially, a cultural identity essay requires that you discuss how nationality, race, language, social class, ethnicity, religion, gender, heritage, tradition, and norms affect your life and viewpoint.
Below is a cultural identity essay sample. Read, enjoy, and analyze. Right after you’ll surely be able to craft your cultural identity essay.
My name is Junichiro Claude Matsuoka, an only child. I am a multiracial American and native New Yorker. My father is Japanese and my mother is French, and I speak both languages fluently. They were both born, raised, and educated in their home countries and were introduced to each other in graduate school in the United States. They then both worked at UNICEF. After which they got married and eventually decided to raise a family in multicultural and multi-ethnic New York City, the same house that we still live in. Their work involves a lot of traveling and they meet countless of people and experience even more cultures, religions, and belief systems. Although my mother is Catholic and my father is Buddhist, they do not have a strong concept or belief in God and raised me in a household that practices nothing but kindness and compassion. As far back as I can remember, the only religion they taught me was this - to do goodwill to my fellow men. My parents instilled in me a strong sense of kindness, morality, and work ethic. These beliefs do not only reflect my culture, they are also the core values of my family.
Due to my mixed heritage, my family possesses many Japanese and French cultural traditions, aside from traditions from where I was born and raised. My Japanese father taught me the practice of Kaizen. Kaizen is the drive and effort to improve in all aspects of life – in my case, I practice Kaizen in my behaviour, outlook in life, relationship with loved ones, and work. I do it every day and has made my life more worthwhile. I also love sea urchin and sashimi with a passion – all because of my father’s influence. My French mother passed on to me the love for art and the importance of a relaxed body and mind. I also inherited from her the love for delicious desserts and wine, philosophy, and sentimental movies. Twice a year, my family takes a long vacation – one in Japan and one in France. When in France, I feel so French. When in Japan, I am one full-blooded Japanese. When at home, I am an interesting mixture of both. It is pure joy seeing my extended family on both sides at least a few times a year.
There have been a few years when we were not able to vacation in Japan and France. I used to consider those times as quite lonely. Now, looking back, they were really not sad at all because we had a chance to vacation with our friends from home. For the past three years, every summer, I have been going on short camping trips upstate with my friends. When we do not have those, we enjoy just walking and strolling with our dogs at Central Park. But I have to say that the Fourth of July is the one American holiday I enjoy the most. Every year, we gather at a different friend’s house, cook lots of food, prepare drinks, and just have a great time. Since it’s my home country’s independence day, we make it a point to really have a good time and enjoy life's pleasures. Almost all my friends have different backgrounds – Indian, British, German, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Israeli. I cover the Japanese and French. We jokingly call each other United Nations.
I cannot think of any reason why I should not be happy with my life. True, the differing backgrounds of my parents played a factor but it does not stop at that. I have developed and possess a distinct culture of my own and it is the combination of heritage and the influences that I prefer to identify with now. My unique culture, values, desire to help my fellow men, and pursuit of happiness are reasons enough to celebrate life.