The Becoming Culturally Competent
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After taking all of the above into consideration, the culture in which I predominantly identify is European American, which is also known as White American. My rationale behind choosing to identify with this culture is because my ancient ancestors came from Europe. I became aware of this after having a conversation with my dad about what culture we are from since I was not sure myself. He stated that his parents told him that our family ancestry includes individuals that were originally from Europe. With that being said, my family ancestry began in Europe which would make my culture European American. In addition to my family ancestry, another rationale for why I predominantly identity with European American culture is because the research I found online and in my textbooks is very similar to my beliefs, values, and customs. To enumerate on this, some European American beliefs and values include “gender equality, independence, freedom, individuality, competitiveness, materialism, self reliance, and youth and beauty”.
Aside from beliefs and values, some European American customs include supersizing every meal, getting to go boxes at restaurants, opening gifts in front of the giver, tipping, requiring personal space, chatting with strangers, smiling a lot, not following the metric system, and working a lot. Furthermore, European Americans are big on attending sporting events and having family reunions. With all of that being said, I share a majority of the same values, beliefs, and customs as European American’s, however there are a couple of differences as well. Two examples of my beliefs, values, and customs that are the same as European American beliefs, values, and customs include believing in gender equality and tipping. I am a strong believer of gender equality. Gender equality means that men and women are created equal and there is no limit on what jobs or tasks a man or woman can or cannot do. Personally, I think it is absurd to say that a woman cannot do the same things that a man can do because she is inferior or not masculine enough. I believe that a woman can do anything she sets her mind to and that she should not be kept from doing it by any means.
A woman can be strong and perform jobs that require strength just like a man can. Just because she was born a female does not mean that she has no muscles or strength. In fact, there are some very strong women out there, therefore gender does not determine someone’s capability. In addition to gender equality, I also participate in the custom of tipping. Tipping is leaving money in addition to the amount owed for the service provided when you have received exceptional service. I leave tips for my waiter or waitress, and hairdresser. (People also leave tips for their bartender, but I do not drink alcohol therefore I do not have the opportunity to do so). I believe that everyone should tip because waiters and waitresses in the United States do not make minimum wage, therefore they are dependent on tips as their main source of income. In fact, they expect a tip and if you do not leave one it is considered rude and inconsiderate. With that being said, I usually leave a tip that ranges anywhere from $5 to $12 depending on how good the service was.
Two examples of my beliefs, values, and customs being different than European American culture include not participating in sporting events and not attending family reunions. In America sports are a big deal with “the most popular being football, baseball, and basketball”. Practically everyone, except a select few (with myself being one of them), participates in, attends sporting events, or watches them on television. I have never been a fan of sports, however in America a lot of individuals center their lives around sports. For example, my dad and fiancé enjoy watching football and baseball on television together every time it comes on. They make sure they are at home when a game is coming on television and do not like to be interrupted during the game. On the contrary, I have never been fascinated by sports like they are. The rules of sports are too confusing for me to understand (especially football) and I have never played myself, therefore I am uninterested in them. With that being said, I do not have a favorite football team or anything of that sort either.
Aside from not being a fan of sports like the majority of America, I also do not participate in family reunions. I am sure that cultures other than European Americans also have family reunions, however I know that family reunions are a big deal in our culture. Family reunions are when the entire family gets together and has a party in order to socialize and enjoy time together. Family reunions are held because not everyone sees all of their family members as often as they would like and/or their family members live in other states or countries. My family however sees each other quite often because our family is not as large as some families are. Therefore, we do not see the need to host or attend family reunions. We see each other regularly due to living in close proximity to each other and we just call or text each other, set up a date, and attend a small gathering rather than having a large family reunion