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What Does Culture Mean to You: Opinion Essay

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Our first assignment was to produce a piece of writing on the meaning of culture. My initial reaction to the assignment was confusion, because of the limited definition of culture that I had. From my perspective, culture ultimately reflected an individual’s race. Ever so often I get an orchestrated question referring to my ethnicity or nationality. Whether it is where I was born, where I am from, where I feel I belong, or where do I live. Sometimes I feel the urge to explain myself, … Erratically, I would even find myself eliminating parts of my stories in order to create an identity more satisfactory for others. Depending on the individual or the situation, I will have a variety of answers to the dreaded question of what culture do you identify yourself in. There are even certain circumstances where I would tell lies or alternate my story as I go, like many of those who are insecure about their lack of culture. Occasionally, I would go for a simple answer: simply Switzerland and the Philippines.

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At subsequent times, I would explain the entire story: that I was born in Hong Kong, moved to the Philippines after a short period of time, then to Switzerland, and finally stayed for more than half my life in Singapore. Or I might elucidate that my mother is from the Philippines and my father is from Switzerland, but that I had a stronger connection to Singapore. “No human being is culture free. We are a product of the many different cultures which surround us.” – Unknown, To be honest, I sometimes feel as if I will never find a place, a community, where I belong one hundred percent. When I am around my Filipino family, I feel a disconnection, because I felt like they treat me like I could not possibly belong to the Filipino culture. Throughout most of my childhood, I have been predominantly exposed to nothing, but western culture. Due to the ‘strange’ mix, I frequently wonder whether my life would be any different growing up in just the Philippines or Switzerland.

I wonder what it would be like to be able to identify yourself in a culture, what it would be like to have lived in a house where there were markings besides a doorframe, representing every single growth spurt in my childhood, to have the best friend who has known me since primary school or middle school. As a young child, I have always had the pleasure to travel and experience different cultures, and attending an international school, like UWCSEA, only added to the mixture of cultural influences. I tend to always feel insecure about the person I am, and I have always been from early on. Perhaps, it’s the fear of being different or being treated differently for what I am. My friends, tend to have their entire life together – they seem to know exactly where they belong, whilst I feel like I’m trapped in mud halfway across a field, and each step I try to take, to better myself, to fit in and feel a sense of belonging is a tremendous effort. But why do I have this lack of cultural identity? Well, ever so often, my family and I visit the Philippines. And it is due to the language barrier that I feel isolated and this disconnection between my Filipino origins. Further ideas: Adjectives cannot begin to describe me and I acknowledge these descriptions for what they are, a condensed translation from my outward self to the world. cultural identity also relates to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, and all that defines the self. people’s values, languages, religions, ideals, artistic expressions, patterns of social and interpersonal relationships, and ways of perceiving, behaving, and thinking.

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What Does Culture Mean to You: Opinion Essay. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 30, 2023, from
“What Does Culture Mean to You: Opinion Essay.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
What Does Culture Mean to You: Opinion Essay. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 Sept. 2023].
What Does Culture Mean to You: Opinion Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Mar 01 [cited 2023 Sept 30]. Available from:
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