Culture is something we all have. It is what defines the person we are. It is the reason we love the things we love and act the way we act. What defines who I am is my Nigerian culture. My family immigrated to the United States when I was six years old, but most of what I know is America. If someone were to ask me a question about Nigeria, I could not give an answer.
Living between two different cultures is something I struggle with day-to-day. It has its benefits, but there are also some challenges that come along with it. When my family and I came to the United States, my parents continued to hold on to their beliefs and customs to instill our culture in my sisters and me.
They did not want to conform to the American culture immediately, and they also did not want us to. I am grateful for my parents for instilling in me the customs and traditions of our culture. We eat a variety of foods, wear different clothes, and speak a different language. Nigeria is a country of great people in a warm atmosphere. I love to interact with people from my country and learn about my culture. I also embrace that I can also celebrate my American culture too. America is a mix of different people from all over the world.
Living between two different cultures is a celebration within itself.A challenge I face regularly is feeling different from others because of my cultural identity. After living here for 11 years, I am closer to my culture in America than I am in Nigeria. I do not watch Nigerian movies or even listen to Nigerian music.
This becomes difficult and sometimes embarrassing when I am around my African friends. I have become so comfortable with American culture because it is what I know. This forces me to want to learn more about where I am from; and what has made me the person I am today.I have learned that living between two cultures is a blessing and not a burden. Because I live in America, I have the freedom to celebrate both my Nigerian and American culture.
I can also discover the unknowns of Nigerian culture and share them with others. Culture makes us who we are.