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Reflective Essay on Cultural Identity: 550 Words Sample

You have come across the term cultural identity at a point in your life. Whether you have encountered the term on social media platforms, in magazines, on television, or in the news, the discussion on cultural identity becomes expansive in the academic context. It is no surprise to see many speeches, debates, dissertation papers, research papers, discussion posts, and reflective essays on cultural identity on the internet.

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So, what is cultural identity? Suppose you have an assignment to write a reflective essay on cultural identity. What would you include in your reflective essay on cultural identity? What are the topics you would cover in your essay? What approach would you use in writing the reflective essay on cultural identity for college? Below is an explanation of the components of a reflective essay on critical identity and a sample of a reflective essay on cultural identity:

What is Cultural Identity?

Cultural identity refers to the preferred identification of a person. Cultural identity involves the different factors which have influenced and continue to influence a person from the day they were born to the present day. These factors that one can identify with include language, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality, and social class. Mixing these factors with tradition, heritage, and norms defines one’s cultural identity. Therefore, one can boldly profess that cultural identity is not a singular factor. Instead, it involves different aspects whereby you are the only person who can determine your cultural identity.

An Example of determining the cultural identity

Take, for instance; you were born and raised in New York. Your mother is Japanese and is a Buddhist, while your father is French and Catholic. Due to the conflict in religious beliefs, you grow up in a home with no religious affiliation. The culture was a mix of both French and Japanese. You are fluent in three languages; English, Japanese, and French. It is your wish to identify as French because you identify with their culture, and you have a close relationship with your French relatives.

However, you identify as American because you live in the United States, and the majority of your life has been in the United States. Now, your cultural identity is up to you. It will, however, depend on the circumstance and context of the question. You are the only person who can write a reflective essay on your cultural identity.

Where is Cultural Identity Applicable?

The idea of cultural identity applies to multiple fields; academic and non-academic. In an academic context, cultural identity is a factor in cultural arts, history, sociology, anthropology, and political science. In a non-academic context, cultural identity applies in determining who is who and the category they belong to. It helps identify and categorize people in societies that consist of different religions, cultures, races, and ethnicities.

Why is it Important to Understand Cultural Identity?

If you are wondering about the importance of a cultural identity essay, here are some of the reasons why you should understand cultural identity:

  • The knowledge of your cultural identity prevents one from projecting their values onto others. Naturally, you would assume that people do things for the same reason as you do. That would make you degrade other people’s culture when you discover that your reasons are different.
  • Ensures peaceful co-existence with people of different cultures. Understanding that people have different cultures will see that you exist with them peacefully and have a meaningful relationship. Understanding other people’s concepts of their cultural identity results in a deeper interaction.

What are 5 Examples of Culture?

Culture is a summary of the experiences that are passed from one generation to another. Some of the examples of culture are:

Language

This makes provision for communication among people. Language changes by the day as new words and conventions are added to the vocabulary. Language is among the first elements of culture that a child learns from parents, relatives, and peers.

Food

How food is cultivated, selected, prepared, and enjoyed is an element that is passed from one generation to another. Food includes traditional food, fine dining, social meals, and recreational meals.

Music

The music encompasses elements, instruments, styles, theory, notation, and folklore. Every generation challenges its music traditions as time progresses. Music traditions are emergent and living, unlike other historical elements.

Reflective Essay on Cultural Identity

Fashion

This has to be the element that has transitioned the most. The daily clothing of people is majorly dictated by global fashion standards. However, traditional clothing is preserved and is used during rituals, holidays, and cultural festivals.

Belief

This refers to how a community interprets life and life activities. Beliefs are around religion, ideas, symbols, values, and ideas.

Cultural Sensitivity

This refers to the result of the acquisition of knowledge about one’s cultural identity and that of other people. A person with cultural sensitivity can perceive, feel, and acknowledge cultural differences. Together with humanity, cultural sensitivity helps one break cultural barriers and make a difference in society. It is not rocket science that the major historical wars were a result of a misunderstanding of cultural identities. Issues such as chauvinism, prejudice, nationalism, and racism were and still are due to a lack of cultural sensitivity. In today’s era of globalization, one needs to know their cultural identity to ensure peaceful co-existence among the different cultures in the world.

How Do You Maintain Your Cultural Identity?

Some of the ways to maintain your cultural identity are:

Always Use Your Native Language

Who you are lies in your self-expression through words. Therefore, you can maintain your cultural identity by always expressing yourself in your native language. Your language will connect you to your family and other people of your native origin.

Learn Your History

Having an understanding of where you come from, your practices, and your naïve land will create more interest in your beliefs and traditions. Your history will help you stay connected to your culture.

Embrace Your Traditions

Every culture has traditions that are celebrated by people of that culture. No matter where you are, continue practicing and celebrating your traditions. Your traditions could be the kind of attire you wear or the festivities that you celebrate.

Be Part of a Group

People of a certain cultural identity feel safe when they connect with people of the same cultural identity. Look around where you live or work for a group of people of your cultural identity and be a part of it. If there is no such group, consider starting one so that other people will join.

Do Not Lose Your Interest

Some things interest you about your culture. Whether it is a song, practice, or food, maintain that interest. The internet makes everything accessible, and you can stay in touch with your cultural identity.

How to Write a Reflective Essay on Cultural Identity

A reflective essay on cultural identity is an essay where an individual talks about their cultural identity. The author should break down the factors that contribute to their cultural identity and the influence of those factors on their life. When writing your reflective essay on cultural identity, you need to follow the right format of a reflective essay. The content of your reflective essay on cultural identity is what will be different than other essays.

In a nutshell, you need to describe your culture and how it has influenced your life, and how it influences you to date. You will be talking about your nationality, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, tradition, social class, language, and heritage. You need to point out how each has affected your viewpoint in life.

The Structure of a Reflective Essay on Cultural Identity

Your reflective essay on cultural identity will follow the basic principles of a reflective essay. A good model to follow is the five-paragraph rule for essays. The main components of your reflective essay on cultural identity are as follows:

Introduction

Every essay should have an introduction, as it is a key component of an essay. In the introduction, you should tell the audience who you are and what has made you that way. You must give your background. Your introduction should not be too short or too long. It should be the right size for your reflective essay. The ideal length of an introduction should be about 10 percent of the entire reflective essay on cultural identity. The purpose of the introduction is to tease a reader and create interest in reading the entire essay.

Thesis Statement

This is usually the last sentence of your introduction. The thesis statement is considered a separate part of your reflective essay on cultural identity because of its significance. The thesis statement is an argumentative claim that the essay seeks to prove in the body section. It reveals the purpose of your essay.

Body

Like the introduction, the length of the body of your essay will depend on the length of your reflective essay. Regardless of the length of the body, the purpose of the essay is the same. The body seeks to build upon the thesis statement. In the body section, you should analyze the thesis statement. You should give ideas on the topic—cultural identity and its consequences. You should then indicate the connection between the two.

Conclusion

This will be the last section of your reflective essay on cultural identity. In the cultural identity essay conclusion, you should emphasize your thesis statement. You will be restating the major points highlighted in the body. The conclusion should be brief, clear, and concise.

How do you start a cultural identity essay?

Think of your Traits that Stand Out

Every person had a unique personality. A reflective essay on cultural identity seeks to reveal who you are. Give details that will help the reader learn about your cultural identity. You can determine your traits through critical reflection. Cultural reflection refers to the way of understanding oneself by exploring their culture and how it has shaped their life.

Create an Outline

A plan is critical to having a great essay on cultural identity. The plan will help you organize your thoughts and guide your writing process.

Be Simple and Sincere

Use clear and concise language so that the essay is not complex to understand. Also, the essay is about you. You should thus be yourself. Every person has a story to share, and this essay allows you to share yours.

Reflective Essay on Cultural Identity

Sample Reflective Essay on Cultural Identity

Here is a sample of a reflective essay on cultural identity that you would present when issued with such a task:

My name is Chike Ide Rosy, the firstborn in a family of three. I am a native New Yorker. My father is French while my mother is Japanese. I can write and speak both French and Japanese. Each of my parents was born and raised in their native country. It is while they were working in the United States that they met and got married. Although they are from different cultural backgrounds, my parents decided to raise me and my siblings in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural home. We live in a modern home in New York.

Both of my parents’ jobs are demanding and usually involve a lot of traveling. During their work travels, they get to experience and interact with people from different cultures. My parents have different religious beliefs as one of them is a Christian, while the other is a Buddhist.

However, they agree that there is a superior being, and they raised us in a home that upholds peace and kindness. Since I was a child, I have been taught nothing less than to treat people equally and with compassion—a value I intend to uphold all the days of my life. I have equally obtained a strong sense of work ethic and morality from my parents. Not only are these core values of my culture, but also the values that my family lives by.

Since I am from a family with a mixed heritage, there are cultural traditions that I observe from both cultures. For instance, I have learnt Kaizen from my Japanese mother. Kaizen refers to the drive to improve self in all life aspects. I have always practiced Kaizen since my school days, and I still practice it in my work. I also love Sushi, which is a key dish among the Japanese. From my French father, I have learned the love for art and the importance of total well-being. I have also adopted a love for fine dining and philosophy.

Since I was a child, I have been taught nothing less than to treat people equally and with compassion—a value I intend to uphold all the days of my life. I have equally obtained a strong sense of work ethic and morality from my parents. Not only are these core values of my culture, but also values that my family lives by. Since I am from a family with a mixed heritage, there are cultural traditions that I observe from both cultures.

For instance, I have learned Kaizen from my Japanese mother. Kaizen refers to the drive to improve self in all life aspects. I have always practiced Kaizen since my school days, and I still practice it in my work. I also love Sushi, which is a key dish among the Japanese. From my French father, I have learned the love for art and the importance of total well-being. I have also adopted a love for fine dining and philosophy.

Despite the difference in the cultural background of my parents, I am content with my life. Their cultural backgrounds have shaped my cultural identity, but that is not all. I have a distinct culture, which is a combination of theirs and what I have acquired over time. My unique values and culture shape my daily life and interactions with others.

The cultural identity essay example above is an example of how one can determine their cultural identity. Your cultural identity is a sum of the factors; ethnicity, race, religion, and tradition that you choose to belong to. It is safe to say that you are the only one who can define your cultural identity. That is because your cultural preferences will influence your cultural identity.

Now you know what to present when you need to write a reflective essay on cultural identity; you can check culture essay samples on Myhomeworkwriters.com. If you need extra help with the writing of the essay, you can rely on My Homework Writers for quality essay writing services. You can also obtain other writing services for my culture essays by placing your order on myhomeworkwriters.com. My Homework Writers is versed with quality writers who are committed to delivering quality work for their clients.

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