Exploring my Nationalities
- Length: 1630 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)
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I have the advantage of being two nationalities, Trinidadian and Haitian. This past summer I had the opportunity to explore each of them. I was six years old when I left Trinidad to come to the United States. Sometimes, when I try to remember the country of my birth I just have a blank memory of it. I always told myself when I got older, I would go back home for a visit. I already accomplished my goal of visiting Haiti, where my mother was born. Trinidad was next on my list, since I became tired of my mother as well as other family members telling me about the beauty of Trinidad. This past summer was a beautiful and exciting memory that never will be forgotten. Never forget where your nature is rooted, because those who are of different cultures enrich our society, making our world exciting.
Every time my grandmother and I spoke, she always asked me "Boy wenya gonna come home"? And I tell her "soon come". Trinidadians speak broken English, almost like Jamaicans, but much clearer. Finally the day to leave for Trinidad came on August 1st. I decided to go by myself so I can learn about the country, spending time with old friends and family. It was a personal visit; it had been eighteen years since I returned home. It felt like a reunion with a loved one. I was up for two days counting down the time until my trip. The night before my flight it felt like the night before the first day of high school, I was so anxious for the day to begin. I planned my outfit and was very serious getting about ready for my trip. My dream finally came true because, although I have a lot of relatives in Trinidad, I'm closest to my grandmother and it has been four years since I last saw her. The excitement was rushing through my veins. I was set to go and my eyes were blood shot red from the lack of sleep the past two days. It was time to escape my hectic work-filled days in Spring Valley and enter a new relaxed environment of a tropical paradise for one whole month. I took off at 5:00 pm and took a much needed nap during the five hour flight.
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Our World Go Back Trinidad Family Members Haitian Mont Relatives Reunion Excitement Always
The rough turbulence of the plane landing awakened me, letting me know that I was approaching Trinidad. I stepped off the plane with a huge smile on my face and I felt so happy and relieved to be there. I did not know anything much about my country except that it was in the Caribbean, the food was amazing and the women were beautiful. I gathered my luggage and headed out the front entrance. The scenery was nice with a breeze blowing through the palm trees. The sky was such a beautiful purple and reddish color I just stopped to admire it and inhaled the fresh air that I've been missing.
My grandmother arrived with hugs and kisses as we embraced each other. It had been a long time since I had seen her. After loading everything into the car, we were off driving through the city of Trinidad with its amazing bright lights and big buildings similar to Time Square. The atmosphere was unbelievable! I thought differently of the country, but they had everything we have in the United States such as BMWs, Mercedes, Porches, Pizza Hut and so on. My grandmother told me a lot has changed. The economy became better, and so the cost of living increased. For example, a bottle of apple juice in a supermarket would be about $1.50 but down there it would cost you about $8.00. The value of the currency is different from the United States; each American hundred dollar bill is nine hundred "TiTi" money in Trinidad. My grandmother lives in the suburbs of Trinidad called Diego Martin and it is like the West Palm Beach of Florida. We finally arrived at her house, but everyone was asleep and I was already beat. Tomorrow would be a new day and as soon as my head hit the pillow, I feel asleep like a baby. The next morning I had breakfast with family members, and after that, we went to the beach. It was a wonderful way to start my vacation.
I always asked my grandmother about my father since I knew he still lived out there and her response would always be that he's around. I was always curious because I never got the chance to see or know the man. As I got older I hardly asked but I have been in touch with him and our first phone conversation was in 2003. We had managed to keep in touch on and off. We went to Maracas Beach, where you have to drive through the mountains, a scary ride but well worth it. The sea was clean and blue and the sand was so rich and pure I felt like I was in heaven. I swam for days; I felt as though I was experiencing a child first time in a pool or beach and I just wanted to spend the whole day there. Unfortunately, we had to go back, and as we walked back to the car, I was introduced to my father. I thought it was a joke at first but even when then I realized it was not a joke I was in such a shock. I remained speechless during the entire ride back to the house. In my mind I could not picture myself hanging out with my father, the man I had not seen for twenty four years. We had a lot of catching up to do and I was looking forward to it. Later on that evening, my father and I went out for dinner as we were trying to get to know each other and he also was expanding my knowledge about my country as well as letting me know information that I needed to know about my accentors. Trinidadian culture and style is different from the other Caribbean islands. Instead of listening to reggae or dancehall they are more famous for calypso music that was started in the 20th century and most known for music during the carnival season. While I was getting to know my father, I was also able to explore the whole country with him. I went to the Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago. We went to museums, art galleries, and theaters. Then we took a ferry to go to Tobago, the other half of the country. Tobago was beautiful, with a very clean atmosphere; the streets were absolutely clean with no garbage on the ground. I had wished back home was like that. I jet skied, went horse back riding, and scuba dived, marched with the steel band at a festival and also went up in a hot air balloon for the first time. The best part of it all was that I was enjoying spending all that time with my father. I could not ask for more.
Sometimes I have flash backs about the trip and realize that visiting back home was meant to be. As my time was coming to an end I felt that I had already put on twenty pounds because the food was so tasty and delicious, plus you have a wide variety of food to pick from. Trinidadian people like to use spices and herbs in their foods.' Shark and bake' is one of the most known meals in Trinidad. It's a round of fried dough stuffed with golden fried shark texture of the meat is soft but so spicy and it beats a Big Mac or a Double Whopper. Corn soup and corn-on-the-cob roasted on an open fire or boiled in a broth with seasonings. That is also popular and sold by street vendors. There's other delicious selections like curry shrimp, goat or chicken with rice and dumplings, that is made with dough and Roti. Roti is like a type of Pita bread that you eat with any dish, also other countries like India, and Guyana use this type of bread too. The majority of the food down there is spicy so it's best to have a lot of water next to you. Trinidad and Tobago have many different types of culture from the Chinese, African, British and American people that started their lives there, with some even getting the opportunity to work in the country too. Trinidad is known for its beautiful sights and carnivals and it is always going to be a country where you would love to bring your family and show them a different view of life.
This was by the best vacation that I could have ever asked for. I got to know the other half of me and I also got to see my father for the first time in my life. I'm always thankful that my dreams going to my homeland and making the best of it and enjoying the time I spent with my father, came true. This trip to Trinidad touched me emotionally aspect and I will never for get it and I'm blessed that it happen and I can't wait for next summer. It's always good to go back or even find out information about your nationality because that's what makes you a unique person and you get to learn different facts about your culture that might even be interesting to you. You could also show your kids the same values and ideas your parents taught you about your country. You do not want them to forget where their ancestors came from.
My Cultural Identity Essay: A Guide to Writing about Who You are
A cultural identity essay is a paper that you write exploring and explaining how your place of upbringing, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, and family dynamics among other factors created your identity as a person. Even facts such as what activities you took part in as a child can be part of your cultural identity. Your culture identity is ultimately the group of people that you feel that you identify with. The thought process behind this is known as cultural identity theory. To get a better idea of this, take a look at this single paragraph blurb of information that you might see in a culture identity essay. After reading, you can easily write my paper and feel comfortable getting grades as high as you can imagine.
I was born in rural Missouri, but my family moved to St. Louis before I was a year old. My mother is 100 percent Irish and comes from a family that identifies very strongly with Irish culture. My father is Middle Eastern, but was adopted by an English family who moved to the United States when he was 5. We lived in a pretty big house in a subdivision. My parents had two more kids after me, they were both boys as well. My father wasn't religious, but my mom was a practicing Catholic. She went to mass every week. My brothers and I both had first communion and were confirmed, but stopped going to church as teenagers. We weren't really encouraged to play sports because our parents thought we should focus on our studies. They really emphasized math and science. I did well in these classes, but I didn't enjoy them. In high school, I became active in music and theater. Most of my friends were also into that as well. I earned a scholarship to study engineering on the East Coast, but I dropped out as a sophomore. I returned home to study music, needless to say my parents were disappointed. My brothers both pursued careers in technical fields. One is a mechanical engineer and the other is a software engineer. I am close with my family, but we do not have much in common. My circle of friends is fairly varied when it comes to race, ethnicity, religion, and economic background, but it consists almost entirely of people who are artists, musicians, writers, or people involved in those industries.
Keep in mind that your essay may look nothing like this. In our example, the writers choice of career, talents, and interests influenced his cultural identity more than his religious, ethnic background, or family values did. This may not be the case for you. Remember that when you are writing your paper there are no wrong answers. You just have to ask yourself insightful questions and keep the theory of cultural identity in mind as you write. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How did the foods I ate as a child influence my identity
- Did I look different from the kids I went to school with? How did that impact me?
- Did birth order influence who I am as an adult?
- Does my life today match the life I was raised in?
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