Monday, May 4, 2015

While in Paris I've been exposed to very important parts of french culture such as food, fashion, the arts, etc. I've been able to explore these facets and develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for each of them. But what about the place I call home?

Many people would say that the US does not have a culture.

I'm not sure if I necessarily agree or disagree with that statement. I guess I would end up somewhere in the middle, if I'm being honest. The United States is a grand melting pot of citizens who descend from immigrants from all over. Since our beginnings, we have adopted various aspects from these other cultures, while adding a bit of the American twist (just take our language for example!). That in itself could be argued either way, with to prove the US has a culture, or that in fact, what we consider our culture to be is not actually ours at all.

One thing I love about the US is the tendency of her citizens to accept other cultures, and build on it. For instance, we see the French represented in Louisiana with creole and common french names (and other things of course). In California and many other western states, there is a Mexican influence that is seen throughout. With all the cultural influences adopted, the US has created her own kind of culture that blends them together.

So what exactly is US culture, if such a thing really exists?

I'm not going to list them individually, but rather collectively. The United States practices a culture of acceptance and tolerance. While there are sometimes struggles with those two points, it's undeniable that the US is one of the most accepting and tolerant nations today. It is this acceptance that has allowed us to borrow from other cultures and create an ending result of our own (California Rolls ring a bell? lol!)  It is this practice of tolerance that has guided the US to be the melting pot it is today that accepts people from different cultural backgrounds and walks of life. I must say that this is not always enacted perfectly. I have to acknowledge these "cultural downfalls"...Yes, there are still times when as a unit we don't get it right and sometimes seem to descend back to a time where tolerance wasn't widely practiced. Yes, there are times when there are unfair actions against a group/culture. However, these incidents do not always reflect the mindset of the majority, and luckily, there is always someone pushing the limits and boundaries to guide the nation into a better position. And, another good thing about the culture of the US, we strive to progress, so it is my belief that someday we will reach the ultimate level of acceptance and tolerance.

Did I exactly pinpoint US culture? For some, yes, for others, it was probably a gust of wind in one ear and out the other. Whatever the case may be, one cannot deny the points of acceptance and tolerance, while imperfect at times, that has a tendency to be practiced as a whole by most of the citizens of the US.

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