Identity Essay

944 WordsApr 17, 20124 Pages
”Ding” the seatbelt sign was off. I took out the book I brought for the boring plane trip and leaned back in my seat. I brought this anthology because I could relate myself to it. “Growing up Asian in Australia” is just the phrase to describe me. As I flicked though the pages, one story caught my eye. “Silence”, I thought, sounded very intriguing. But what really piqued my interest was the ending of “no going back”, of “that other world becomes ‘what ifs’.” I started reading in earnest. Finishing the story, I was left was a sense of sadness. I understood the ending now. The protagonist, Tony Ayres, realizes the difference between him and a traditional Chinese waitress. It isn’t misunderstanding; it is “the gap between two cultures.” After crossing to another, Australian, culture, he can’t go back anymore and that Chinese culture will be inaccessible. He defines himself as from an Australian culture and his identity marks difference to that of the waitress. Is culture the most predominate aspect of a person? That people from another background can’t understand their actions. Like how Tony could not understand the waitress because he’s not attuned to her culture. People’s own upbringing set them to see other people’s cultural background more clearly. The waitress acts according to her cultural background and Tony immediately recognizes that though her behavior. The identity of the waitress is mostly shaped by her culture as she has the same shared values and practices within the Chinese background. She would work long hours at a Chinese restaurant and taking on the job very diligently while people from cultures don’t. A person’s culture is sometimes the first thing people identify as people often act within that cultural background. But is a person’s identity mostly dependent on cultural background? I thought culture would be a major influence but may not be the

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