What is 'Culture' to you?
When we describe people in different regions around the world, we use the term "their culture" to describe the where, and how they live. Whether it is that we eat on the floor or on the table, people may start pointing fingers and say "Its how they live; it's their culture." So if I decide to one day eat on my bed ,would that be part of my culture? Sometimes there are words that when we say them much more than we anticipated, we forget its definition. So what is culture?
Culture can be a word to describe a group's way of life. Though in most times it refers to the arts, language, holidays and music, basically things that make their culture unique. But there is so much to fit in one word, its complicated to get the right definition. Culture consists of the way each group thinks, talks, celebrates, cooks, believe, etc. But eventually all of these things, us people have created it. It depends on where we were born and by who. For example, if someone was born in China, then the way they study martial arts, celebrate holidays, read from up to down, eat, etc., would be their way of life. As they grow into that environment, trying to learn everything there is to know, and how to survive, then it becomes their culture. It depends who we were raised by, because it eventually comes down that we learn everything from them.
Ever since I can remember I was raised to the mexican culture. When visiting Mexico, one of the things that is hard to miss is how much we praise our religion. 90% of the people in Mexico are catholics, and my whole family has been raised with that belief. Once upon a time an indigenous peasant, Juan Diego, was walking up a hill in Tepeyac when he saw the Virgin Mary. She told him to build a church for her and so he asked the local bishop for permission. The bishop refused and asked for some proof of the existence of the Virgin Mary. Juan went to the same place where he first saw the Virgin Mary, and she told him to bring the roses to the bishop. Juan was surprised by the request since no roses grow on a dessert, but to his surprise he found them and put them on his poncho and took them to the bishop. When he opened the poncho the image of the Virgin Mary appeared. This, to us mexicans, is our pride because La Virgen de la Guadalupe, the Virgin Mary, appeared in Mexico. The symbol for catholics is her image, and on December 12, we celebrate this day because it was the day she appeared to Juan Diego.
There are also some different holidays that we celebrate that others don't. El Dia de los Muertos is one of them, which is celebrated on November 2. On this day, we celebrate the people who have died but in a happy way. Instead of mourning their death, we would get together as a family and remember them and prepare special food in their honor. When people think of this day, it is usually the sugar skull that are placed on their altar. This holiday is special to me because it is a way to remember the death but with a smile.
Tortillas, beans, spices, rice, corn and all the delicious flavors of mexican food are part of me. Although my mom makes mexican food everyday, on party's and on big events, thats when most of the food takes place. If it weren't for the Spaniards that spread most of the food around the world, some of the things that we enjoy today would not be discovered, like chocolate. From generation to generation, recipes for variations of food have been going around, spreading it's flavor in each plate.
These and much more, are part of my culture. But living in a different location than Mexico, is not the same because we don't get to fully experience the life in Mexico. Fortunately, my parents are fully engaged into the holidays that are traditionally celebrated, and so my parents bring us the culture that they were taught. It does not really take money to be able to experience our culture, because it is mostly about being together and making things with what we got. I personally don't think that there is an upper class, but rather we, mexicans, are all the same, so that there is no one looking down at people. So when there is someone from a different culture group, I personally respect their views, but try to defend my own. Sometimes though, from the way people dress or talk I tend to name their culture, but not intentionally. This could be fixed, by getting to know the person. But in a world where not everyone shares the same cultural group, what people should do without causing no argument whatsoever is to just accept and respect everyone's views, opinions, and ideas.