What does the term "Culture" mean to you?
A thread to help explore and expand how each of us identify within such a broad concept as "culture"
For the 'me' of today, this is a difficult question (and why I'm interested in seeing how others might 'weigh in'), but when I was younger, it was all quite simple: I was a "Native Oregonian" from a rural area. My ancestral stories gave me a connection to my country, and back across the seas to another continent with its own distinctive cultural ties: but primarily I identified with my family, the region of my birth, and the social connections there. However, this began to change as I grew older and interacted with a broader world. My first great shift came when I met the parents of my high school girlfriend, who were native to Denmark (she was a first generation American). Through their influence (and gracious acceptance) I was introduced to a much broader world-view, starting me upon a path of exploration that continues to this day. It cannot be emphasized enough that this was a profound and fundamental shift in how I perceived the world, and more importantly how I 'fit' within it. It challenged me to rethink how I self-identified, forcing me to become more "culturally flexible" at the very least. While I still retain some of the residual imprinting of my birth, I simply no longer identify with the persona that once was. I've heard it said that in order to define a "culture" there must be two or more to identify as such, but I can't help but wonder: could one adapt and grow into a distinctively unique broader cultural identity altogether?
I think this is true of most people. I also identified my culture as my family until I got older. I shifted to Kingstonian(my hometown) and Washingtonian before American. It is interesting to note that as my cultural awareness widens to a more global perspective, I also self-reflect back to my own personal culture. The culture of "I" :)