Question your lens – One’s personal experience

I grew up in Nicaragua blond hair, blue eyes, super fair with freckles. I stood out like a sore thumb since my beautiful friends were a rich caramel color with brown eyes and dark hair. Because of my personal experience, I studied multi-cultural education.

My parents were from different parts of the world, providing me with different DNA, than most of the kids I lived around. I never felt the kids treated me different, I just knew I did not look like most of my friends.

Then later I moved to America where my appearance allowed me to fit in, but I sure could not communicate with anyone, and my clothing still made me stand out. Not knowing English was crippling, language is a skill that is close to home and shelter when moving to a new culture.

Culture refers to the shared values, beliefs and norms of a specific group of people.

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Always question your lens

I never wanted to lose the Nicaragua traditions and culture; I valued them too much. But at the same time, I had to adapt to the culture where I now lived. Adjusting can be tricky and challenging to accomplish.

Did I do it? Kind of, not perfectly.

But I tried to teach my children some essential components of my culture, even though it was far away from where we lived in a place they had never visited. It was imperative to me; I wanted them to understand who I was and why I believe the way I did.

The beauty is my children are like sponges, even though they had their own values and beliefs, they also adopted values and beliefs I taught them.

Because of their exposure to different values, beliefs, and ways, I see my children excel in cultures they visit. It is beautiful to watch.  Both my son and daughter decided to explore the world and both now lives in Europe exploring more cultures and meeting new friends.

One thing I have learned is that we have one thing in common. No matter what culture you’re from, we all yearn for a sense of belonging.

Culture influences the manner we learn, live and behave. Culture is influential in our personality. Don’t judge people until you have walked in their shoes. The more cultures you allow yourself to explore, the more views you will let yourself see. Always question your lens, never limit yourself.

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