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[YRP Students' Essays] Biculturalism

I used to think that the person who only knows one culture is a lucky person. However, now I realize that to know many cultures is important and makes you understand other people's feelings even better.

At the moment I know four cultures which I learnt from where I lived. I know Spanish culture the best because I was born and lived there the longest. On the other hand, I lived in Indonesia only for one year, but I learnt from Indonesia culture that many poverty problems still exist in this world. Also, from English culture I learnt that there are many people who are nice, and I loved jag potato and baked beans, but also I learnt that there are some people who are not pleased with those who don't have white skin. I know the basic Japanese culture which was taught by my parents, but I have never lived in Japan so I do not know the real Japanese culture yet.

However, I do not think it is important whether I know Japanese culture or not because I am Japanese and I do have Japanese soul. I learnt many ideas from each culture such as people's kindness and thinking, race, religious, foods and history. Now I realize that to know many culture is great so you can compare and learn the differences, and can think what you can do to protect and improve each culture.

I used to get jealous of person who only knows one culture. If you only know one culture, you do not have to know the dark side of each culture and you do not have to feel miserable. For example, in Europe there are many beautiful buildings and foods are delicious, but there are some racists, too. On the other hand, in Indonesia there is less racism, but there is a huge wealth gap between rich people and poor people, and it seems as the government is not trying their best to solve the poverty problems. There is some risk to knowing different cultures, but instead you will get many important feelings and it will help you when you grow up if you are thinking to work abroad.

I agree with biculturalism but probably there are some people who disagree with my opinion like people who want to protect their culture. Ages ago in Edo period, Japan shut off relationships with other countries because there was an increase of number of Christians, and the government feared that Christians might destroy government and Japanese culture in future. The similar idea still exist in this world like Japanese government limits the number of foreign people to enter Japan. Some people even refuse to let tourists see their culture because they destroy that culture step by step. It is important to protect and keep your culture, because culture tells its history and all the cultures are beautiful, and it shows how you lived through your life. However, people like me who have mixed culture and had no option to live with only one culture had to live in any culture and accept it. I take no offence to people who want to protect their culture, but I hope they understand the feelings of people who have to live in other cultures, too.

To conclude, I hope people will protect their own culture and keep it the same as before. However, I hope also that people accept the biculturalism too and try to understand the other cultures and see what is going on in this world now. At the moment, I am happy to have many cultures because it is the evidence that I lived there and I accepted each culture. In the future I want to know more different cultures so I can know more history of each country and hopefully work abroad!

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