I Love My Culture!

Dominican FlagThis morning an old memory came to mind. When I was young – maybe six or seven, I got mad every time someone told me I was Dominican. I used to say I was born in America not the Dominican Republic, so I’m American, not Dominican. Now, I always label myself as a Dominican and never as an American, even though I was born in Boston. I am extremely proud of my culture because I feel like it has played a huge role in the person I am today.

I’m thankful that I was born in the United States because I know that I probably wouldn’t have the same opportunities and privileges if I had been born in the Dominican Republic. I most likely wouldn’t have the job I have right now, and who knows if I would have made it to college. However, I also know that my cultural values have always motivated me to take advantage of the resources and opportunities presented to me. Seeing my parents struggle in low-paying jobs made me realize that I didn’t want to be a mirror reflection of them – not because they’re bad people, but because I know they want me to accomplish what they weren’t able to.

Although the Dominican Republic is a third world country and doesn’t have the resources that the United States can offer me, I absolutely love vacationing there, (I just got back) and have thought about eventually living there. In the DR, people are friendlier and they always say hi when they see you. People also tend to casually visit each other, unlike in the US, where people rarely take the time to stop by another person’s house just to visit, no matter how close they live. I also feel like people in the DR have better and happier lives than the people in the US even though they may have less material items. For example, when I was a child, I thought that nobody in my family worked because I always saw them together. Later I found out that they all have their own businesses and that everyone (employed or unemployed) has lunch together. This is because businesses (except for food shops) close between noon and 2pm so that the employees can go home and eat with their families. I feel that because of things like this, families in the DR are more cohesive than families in the US. This is what my parents experienced while they were growing up, and perhaps, the reason why I am so family-oriented.