A world of diversity Personal experience with diverse cultures is very important in understanding the diversity in the world. An example could be the visit to the Eunoto ceremony from the Maasai community, which is one of the foreign traditional ceremonies in Kenya. Usually, tourist are informed about it during their stay in East Africa. The Maasai community which lives in the East African region is one of the conservative traditional communities which have refused to let go their practices.
The Eunoto ceremony is used to mark the end of one age sets period in service of worrier hood for the community and their consequent promotion to the junior elders. This marks their initiation to adult life where they can be allowed to marry and have children. Eunoto is a four day ceremony which takes place in an enclosed hut which is specified for that ceremony. Every warrior has his head shaved by his mother sitting on the same cowhide where he was circumcised. The head is then decorated and the shaving of the head means that they have lost the most valuable stage of their life which is full of freedom.
After the ceremony, the now crowned junior elder may select a girl of his choice for a wife. At the same time some restriction like drinking milk and eating meat which are restricted in their warrior years are also lifted. (Finke, 2003) How can the one describe his/her racial and ethnic diversity? It is difficult to define the word race owing to the varied application of the word in different circumstance. The word race defines a particular group of people who can be identified through a common factor. This means that it is a group of people that share common characteristics (Kim, 2001).
These characteristics can vary from factors like religious, skin color, and others. However, in everyday usage, the word race has been used predominantly based on the color of the skin thereby giving the black race and the light skinned race. This is just a construction of the society and the meaning many not be referring to provable differences. In defining ones personal racial and ethnic identity, it is natural to use of all these characteristics that have been used to differentiate one race from the other.
In that case, based on the skin color, the person could say that he/she, for instance, is black American since his/her great grand parents were presumably, slaves who had been shipped from West African to work in Caribbean plantations. This kind of characteristic can be evidenced in ones physical character; even if the one doesnt have a black complexion, he/she may have a chocolate complexion which may lead to the African origin. The heritage and cultural practices that have been inherited from grand parents may be passed down the line of generation and may be evident today.
A race can also be defined in terms of other characteristics like language and religion. In terms of language, it may be hard to exactly foot ones ancestry since nowdays Americans usually know only American English language. At the same time, the ancestral language may not even be reflected in ones names. The name of a person can tell the origin of a person even without assessing other characteristic. For example the name Patel will assure that there is a high probability that the person is an Indian.
Most people surrounding us every day have both names in English which can explain the level of assimilation of the African slaves in the American society. In terms of religion, a large percent of Americans families are Catholic. Catholic was a predominant religion in the tradition American plantations. However, sometimes, a little enquiry from ancestors how a certain family ended up being Catholics shows that many slaves and in deed Americans were converted to catholic during the independence era as they opposed the Anglican religion perpetuated by the British.
Family customs are important practices that have been passed on from one generation to the other. In some families, there are practices which father insists on like the position of the first born in the family. The first born is supposed to provide example to the rest of the siblings. In an era where family divorces are on the rise, some fathers insist that once their children are married they would like to see them have a happy marriage like they have had. These are some of the customs among other that some parents have tried to pass on to their children in certain cultures.
There are practice like dressing, music, and other practices that are preserved in our family. In term of dressing, some believe in dressing like a gentle lady or gentleman. This means dressing smart. In some families, every time the one enters in the house there will be a rock music playing as the onweners like no other. Taking children to see the land of origin is also very popular. How can the American culture be described? Evidently, American culture is the most diverse in the world, being a multilayered culture with huge cocktail of cultures blending together to produced the Americana culture.
American culture is also the most influential in the world and different aspects like clothing (notably hip star), music (pop music), business, and others have defined the standard world culture. There are different evident factors that set the American culture from the rest. The Hollywood culture that defines entertainment is the most evident. Other clear aspects of American culture is the culture of consumption, racism based on three dominant groups including African American, white American and Hispanic, and fundamental religious culture of Christians, Jews, Islam, and Atheists.
American culture is very rich in diversity. (Levenstein, 2003) What would happen if a resident of the United States of America changes sex? If the one wakes up next day and finds that he/she had changed sex, life would not change much in the modern American society. American society has moved toward gender homogeneity and anyone can perform any duty. There are no cultural restriction and those existing in different races have been overtaken the constitutional legislations. Ones life would, therefore, differ in terms of the biological gender roles and in no other aspect.
Also, it can be said that throughout time some aspects like dressing and the general social life has been greatly changed by the wave of globalization but this is common to all the middle class. Conclusion Diversity in the world may be the source of variety and taste of life. There are diverse races of in the world with each defined by a set of culture practices. The one could consider being an African American but his/her racial and ethnic identity may be polarized by the mix up of cultures in the diverse American culture.
Today, it might prove very difficult to point out culture practices that may identify individual racial background except for the color of their skin.
Finke, J. (2003): Maasai The Eunoto Ceremony. Retrieved on 22nd November 2008 http://www. bluegecko. org/kenya/tribes/maasai/eunoto. htmfrom Kim, U. (2001): Culture, science and indigenous psychologies: An integrated analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press Levenstein, H. (2003): Revolution at the Table: The Transformation of the American culture, Berkeley: University of California Press,