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[YRP Students' Essays] Two Cultures

Do you have two cultures inside of you? People who do are called bicultural people. I am one of these people because I was living in America for about five years.

While I was going to a local school in America, I was completely immersed in American culture. Meanwhile, when I was in the house with my family or going to Japanese school and talking with Japanese friends, I was completely immersed in Japanese culture. Basically, the two cultures are very different and some of the experience made me confused.

There was one unforgettable event in my school life. In America, people never used chopsticks to eat food. In Japan, using chopsticks is a very natural behavior. Once at lunchtime I had brought a lunch that my mother made. Inside the lunch box there were some Japanese foods like rice balls. There were chopsticks with the lunch box, so I used them as usual. Soon I realized that everyone was staring at me with curious eyes. I gave them a bitter smile and quickly explained about the chopsticks. I was only a first grade student, so maybe it was first time for my classmates to see someone using chopsticks with their own eyes. I thought they would despise me. However, they never despised me. They contacted me with kindness and they were all interested in the chopsticks. Eventually, the topic of talk in that lunchtime was all about the chopsticks and most of the people said "I want to use chopsticks!!" The next day at lunchtime, all of my friends were holding chopsticks. I was surprised. "How did you get those?" I asked them. They said that one of my Chinese friends brought lots of disposable chopsticks to school. They were having a hard time to use them, but everyone was enjoying the new culture. They all showed interest in it.

I was glad because they accepted my culture. Even if I have different Culture from theirs, I knew that I could have a nice relationship with them. I thought that enjoying a different culture is certainly good excitement for us.


Child Research Net would like to thank the Doshisha International Junior/Senior High School and Airi Tamagawa, student and author, for permitting reproduction of this article on the CRN web site.
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