I am a proud Ghanaian. I love my country, from its rich history to the magnificent people, and I realize how incredibly fortunate I am to be regarded as a Ghanaian. As a child, I lived in an urban area, which allowed me to be constantly exposed to people from numerous backgrounds. From Puerto Ricans to Jamaicans, I always encountered people from different ethnicities, which led to my increasing fascination. To me, there was something so exciting about meeting someone from a different country; not only did I love to taste their cuisine and listen to their music but I loved listening to stories about the lives they led in their respective countries.
While I have seen a decrease in the amount of diversity I have encountered in my life, after moving from an urban area to rural one, one of the main aspects of college I am looking forward to the most, other than the simple idea of being able to attend college, is the culturally diverse people I will meet. The thought of meeting people from so many different parts of the world, who are ready to take on the same journey that I am, is something that excites me greatly and simply being able to procure knowledge of areas that I know nothing about is something I consider a blessing.
I have always considered myself conscious of others and their heritage; being from Ghana, I am constantly asked questions about the language I speak, how it is like where my family resides, and the differences between American and Ghanaian culture. However, I never mind responding to them – it stems from innate curiosity, after all. With myself, I have allowed that curiosity to foster my excitement about meeting people from different countries and the cultures which they practice. This fascination and excitement could also allow you to discover some of your passions in life, be it language or global affairs, which is why embracing other cultures has never been more important.
How Can I Demonstrate My Willingness to Embrace Other Cultures? Start with Culture Organizations!
My best friend is from El Salvador and through her, I have learned a lot about the Spanish language, Salvadorian cuisine, and their traditions. Having her as my best friend also fueled my interest in learning other languages, leading me to take Spanish language courses from the last year of middle school to my junior year. While I cannot necessarily say that I am decent in pronunciation or fluency, it was exciting for me to try to learn about a language that was not my own.
Furthermore, my school possesses the Spanish Honor Society, in which I am the secretary. With this organization, students who have taken up to Spanish 3 and have also performed well in those courses are able to further demonstrate their interest in the Spanish culture. There are a variety of activities performed in order to bring about awareness – the most important being International Night, where food, music, and traditional practices are put on display for people to learn about and experience. If you are looking for a place to learn about other cultures, begin with clubs that focus on culture as well as language courses! Not provided? Not a problem, as you can always begin your own!
Find Online Platforms
Through my involvement with Her Campus, an online collegiate magazine, I have had the privilege of also being involved with Her Culture, an online organization created by a fellow High School Ambassador, Kate Avino. The main idea of Her Culture is to shed light on the varying and innumerable cultures that the world has to offer while also providing a forum for women to express their cultures. With Her Culture, I have gone on to become friends with girls from Ghana, Germany, Egypt, and so on while also learning more about their practices and the countries themselves.
While it may not be a tangible experience, being involved with an online platform that seeks to promote the embracing of other countries can not only allow you to become more aware of other countries in a method different from school activities but you become a part of a community as well.
You Can Ignite a Passion and Discover A Career As Well
If you love to travel, chances are that the location is not the only thing that excites you. Being in another country allows you to be exposed to so many different people and customs. Not only are you experiencing a different culture firsthand but your knowledge increases as well. With that, you may realize that this is not simply a hobby or something that fascinates you – this has the potential to become a career path for you.
From career paths such as linguistics, international relations, and even education, you are only becoming more connected with the world and the people within it.
Love Your Culture And Do Not Be Afraid To Show It
The world is a huge melting pot and there are so many things to be proud of, especially where you come from. Culture is something that will always be a part of all of us, so why hide it? Be free and express as much of yourself as possible in regards to your heritage. As an Italian, a Brit, a Brazilian, or a Korean, you are a part of a vibrant and rich community of people that is unique and truly special. Be more open to not only other cultures but also your own.
College is the perfect time to become more knowledgeable in other cultures – be sure to take every opportunity to do so!