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Culture Paper

by: Arellis Marquez

Culture Paper .

Arellis Marquez

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"What does culture mean to you?"
Class Notes
Latin, american, Culture
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Arellis Marquez on Monday September 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to . at University of Illinois at Chicago taught by in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views.

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Date Created: 09/12/16
1 Arellis Marquez Professor Joel Huerta Introduction to Latino Cultures 29 August 2016 Culture Culture to me is an umbrella term that tries to cover all characteristics of a certain group  of people. When I think of culture I think of food, art, stories and everything in between. Culture  is the way that our grandparents continue to pass on stories to us such as: La Lorrona, El Hombre Sin Cabeza, and El Cucuy. Or how they are so adamant about newborns wearing a bracelet with  a black stone to protect them from el ojo malo. Or how they think it’s necessary to decorate  everything and anything with really bright colors or any material that gives of a glimmer when  the sun hits it. To this day I vividly remember walking into my grandmother’s house and seeing  how every flower pot had an intricate design and how they were embellished with stones.  Everything from the color of the house to the floor tiles was decorated in an interesting pattern or a bright color. There was no color scheme and it was always hard for my brain to try and make  sense of it all. Growing up in Mexico meant having to be up early because the women in the  household would be the first ones up and they were either in the kitchen preparing breakfast or  cleaning. As sexist as it sounds it was just the way of doing things and no one really questioned  it. Nonetheless, the women in our household would give up an hour of sleep just to have  breakfast ready for the entire family. The day ahead maybe hectic but there was always time to  sit down in the dinner table and to eat with the family. 2  I never thought much of it until we would come back to the Chicago where it became  apparent that I was entering a different culture; the urban culture. Hardly anyone here actually  cares if their flower pots have some intricate design or if it is aesthetically pleasing just as long  as it’s functional then it’s fine. The majority of the people in the city prefer neutral colors to  paint or decorate their houses while people in Mexico prefer to use brighter colors. Majority of  the people in the city tend to be in a rush and there always seems to be a lack of time. People  would rather pick up fast food then to rearrange their schedules to eat with their families. That is  That is how I am able to understand culture; by comparing and contrasting the way that two  groups of people live. Everyone has their own culture and although they are all different not one  is superior to the other; it just is what it is.  I share my culture with others by being open to people who are willing to learn and try  new things. Whenever I surround myself with potential friends who are interesting in learning  more about my culture I am more than willing to help them out by inviting them to a party or a  wedding. If the opportunity arises I am also open to inviting them to certain holidays like  Christmas. Where I am able to explain to them that we don’t have a Santa Claus but we do have  the Three Kings and that in Mexico the children leave their shoes out in order for them to receive gifts. Food is another way for me to share my culture with others. My favorite Mexican food by  far is Tinga and whenever I make it I make sure to ask my friends if they would want to come  over to eat or if I should save them a plate. I also love exchanging remedies and beauty secrets  with anyone that is willing to listen and share. Whenever someone feels nauseas or their stomach starts to hurt I recommend that they drink a cup of manzanilla. If their hair is dry, then I  3 recommend them to smash an avocado and to leave it on their hair for half an hour before they  rinse it out. Lastly I express my culture by just being myself. I was born in Chicago to Mexican  parents who then proceeded to take me to Mexico for half the year and then back to Chicago  annually up until the age of 9. I like to consider myself a Xicana because I am proud of my  indigenous roots but I also acknowledge that I was born in the U.S. I also speak Spanish and I  occasionally try to teach myself some words in Nahuatl. Depending on my mood I like to wear  my huipil or a poncho but more often than not I wear my Rosario. Religion is an important  aspect of Mexican culture and although I don’t consider myself a Catholic I still continue to  embrace parts of the religion because it did play a huge role in my upbringing.  Culture is a word that tries to define a certain group of people based on their  characteristics and traditions. Culture can be anything from the stories that are passed on from  each generation to the next, to the smaller traditions that we have such as waking up early to  have a cup of coffee with pan dulce or embellishing the flower pots with shiny stones. I make  sense of culture by noting that everyone has different characteristics and traditions depending if  they born in a different country, in the city or in the countryside. I am able to share my culture  with others by sharing traditional dishes, beauty secrets and remedies with anyone that is  interested in Mexican culture. Lastly I am able to express culture by calling myself a Xicana  because I am not Hispanic. There is more to my genetic makeup than just Spanish blood because  my culture is more rooted in Mexico than it ever will be in Spain. 4


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