Effects of Culture on One's Life

Essay by sinnetrbJunior High, 9th gradeA, October 2004

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What are cultures? Cultures are all the aspects of a people's entire way of life. There are so many cultures, each with its own unique characteristics. Cultures are extremely important to communicating and understanding the people around you. For example, consider a new kid from another country came to your school. The teacher asked the new student questions and he or she did not look at the teacher when answering. The student reacted this way because in his or her culture, you are not suppose to look at a person of authority. The teacher thought that the new student was being disrespectful, when there was a misunderstanding between cultures. In addition, cultures have many traits, but I feel the three that have influenced my life the most are languages, customs and traditions, and religion.

Without a doubt, language is a major part of all cultures. According to Webster, language is defined as, "the words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a community."

Every culture has a language. It is so vital because people use it to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and knowledge. This ties in with my life because I speak two languages, Chinese and English. I still know Chinese even after all of these years in America, because my parents "force" me to speak it at home. In addition, I have to speak Chinese to my grandparents or else they would not understand me at all. On the other hand, I can speak English at school. This "system" allows me to know both languages, which is a huge asset.

Since I belong to two extremely different cultures, I have to understand and know the customs and traditions of each. The customs and traditions of a culture refer to its rules of behavior. A...