Difficult To Describe

Initially, describing the word culture is masked as being easy. Culture was always introduced to us in forms like paper cut outs of different races holding hands around a cartoon Earth. Culture was always described to me as “who I was” and “where I came from”. This was so strangely counterintuitive to me, as I knew where I came from was most certainly not where I was now, or where I was planning on going. What then was my culture? And who was I? Is that even an answerable question? And where did all that intersect?

Writing has always been a prominent outlet for my thoughts and expressions. I always used writing, in forms like journaling or short stories to express what I was thinking, or at least to try in the most eloquent way I could. An obvious way that this form of expressionism would be influenced is by what I was writing about. And, what I was writing about depended on the world I lived in, and pinpointed to where I was living in that moment. And, by default, that was the culture that I came from, and has somehow been the culture that shaped me into where I stand right now. If its true from our reading that writing is an “extension and a reflection” of the mind, then I was in a way documenting the culture that I was living in, or at least describing my impression of it. In this way, the relationship between self and culture runs parallel to one another in the beginning, and doesn’t necessarily intersect right away. One can be a prominent version of themselves, and that idea of “themselves” can be the mixing of the culture they grew up and are living in. If I were to write about pain and my experiences with it, it would be completely different than someone who lives across the world because our situations are so unlike one another. Everything is deeply relative, and the idea of self (in theory and in practice) is created by the experiences that have shaped us into who we are now. Even my roommate would have a different description if we were to be prompted to write on something, as she did not live the life I have, nor would I have any complete idea of how she has lived hers. So, maybe it is supposed to be counterintuitive after all.

It is an extremely difficult term to tackle, and even trying to put this into words makes my head feel like mush. But, overall, the manifestation of self that has been uncovered through my writing is the product of where I came from and the experiences I’ve had, which can loosely be coined as the “culture” I grew up in.

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