I practice the culture of a Caribbean islander. My primary heritage is from Jamaica, which is an island in the Caribbean Sea surrounded by Cuba to the west, Haiti and Dominican Republic to the east, and Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula to the north. The culture I practice comes from African ancestors who were brought by force to Jamaica as slaves in 1513 by Spanish colonizers. During their time on the island, these enslaved Africans adopted some elements of Spanish and British cultures while also preserving parts of their own African heritage with things like music and food.
I am paying attention to how my Jamaican-Caribbean culture impacts my behavior, actions and thinking because it forms part of my identity. The language I use reflects this cultural influence. For example, when greeting someone I often say “Wah gwaan?” which is a phrase that originates from Jamaican patois (a mix of English words combined with African languages). This phrase roughly translates into asking someone “what’s up?” but has become a distinct expression used by many Jamaicans around the world today.
The way I act around others can also be influenced by this culture as well; for instance when talking about relationships or marriage people may joke about finding a good partner being hard due to there being more women than men in Jamaica (which unfortunately is largely true). In addition, certain concepts such as respect for elders and community involvement are values that have been passed down through generations within Caribbean culture so you will usually find me participating in activities that involve helping out those less fortunate or showing appreciation for people who have gone before us.
What culture do you practice? Where did it come from? Are you paying attention to how culture impacts your behavior, actions and thinking? How does your culture impact others around you?
My Caribbean identity also influences how I think about various issues both domestically and abroad; often times events happening on other islands will catch my attention because they are close geographically speaking but still far away enough where it seems like something from another world entirely – yet at its core they reflect struggles faced by many communities across multiple different backgrounds all over our planet so this helps me gain new perspectives on conflicts occurring elsewhere regardless if it directly affects me or not.
Finally, my Caribbean culture impacts those around me too since interacting with others involves exchanging both verbal/nonverbal cues which can be seen as culturally specific depending on each person’s background so understanding where one another is coming from naturally leads us closer together despite any differences we may have initially had between us; whether that includes religious beliefs or nationalities etcetera – learning open-mindedly out of curiosity rather than judgement goes a long way towards building bridges instead of walls!