Identity Essay

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Growing up in South Florida you see a lot of cultures all around you. I know they say New York is the melting pot of the country but South Florida has so many cultural influences from many countries. There is flags on cars, there are towns named after cities in other countries, and people representing where they came from. Representing where you or your family originated has become the cool thing to do. People will trace back to their great great great uncle and claim that they are part of that nationality. During homecoming week one year we had a nationality day and everyone came dressed up covered in flags or depicting a person from their culture. I am a Cuban-American, my parents were both born in Cuba but I was born and raised in Florida. I never really represented Cuba like others do, I don’t speak Spanish that well, I can’t salsa dance, and I don’t like to listen to Spanish music. The story “Two Ways to Belong in America” is a perfect example of how people correlate their culture into their new country. People have different outlooks on their nationality and culture even when they are stemming from the same family or culture. I have two sisters who were also born in America and are Cuban-Americans, and we each represent a different part of the culture. My older sister is always speaking in Spanish, she loves being around Spanish speakers and really embraces her Cuban roots. Any chance she gets she is always at my grandmother’s house who only speaks Spanish, I feel like she thinks she is obligated to be identified as Cuban and really embraces the language and culture. To me language has a lot to do with who you are; your identity. When someone speaks several languages you always hear it in their voice and you can automatically guess which culture they come from. I think the fact that my grandparents and a lot of our family members speak Spanish she feels

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