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To whom should I listen - Essay Example

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I have also picked up many traditions from all over the world and refused many because they do not go along with my religion or culture. For example, just like the Minnesota University student, Walter Hanson, the protagonist in the short story, The Undeclared Major, written by Will Weaver (2006), I have also learned to shake hands with people when we meet them, from the Euro-American tradition that I assimilated when I lived in England (p.364). In my native place, people embrace each other or just smile when we meet each other. I am experiencing the state of mind of Walter Hanson not only with respect to such simple things, but also by having a concern about how much my family and people will understand me as I continue to grow accepting new traditions from new cultures. Hence, when I am back in Saudi Arabia, I shift back to embracing people and smiling at them and never try to shake hands with them. At home, I try to behave as close as possible to how a Saudi youth of my age would behave so that I do not alienate my family members, friends and acquaintances. When I am back in America, I leave behind those culture-specific behavioral aspects and shift myself into a set of behaviors that is expected of me as an American Muslim. My family has a tradition of valuing education above all and it is this tradition that I also got into myself, and became crucial in my life choices. When I read Keizer (2006), writing that “I give thanks for my family, my church, the Supremes”, I also realize that it was my family and my religion that gave me confidence in becoming what I have become today (p.413). This reverence for family and religion has been a trait that I inherited from the culture and tradition that I was born into. When I think of old age, I always visualize myself as an old man living with my children and grandchildren as any other Saudi citizen would do. I also see myself as becoming more and more religious as I become older. This is so because in my native culture, the community (that is defined by family and religion) is important than the individual. For Keizer (2006), the conflict that he experienced regarding making a decision on what vocation to choose, was something that was to be answered by God himself (416). In such matters, I have grown to be a person, different from him to the core. I feel that regarding such worldly matters, I need to take up the responsibility of my own destiny. This approach, I have taught myself more from my host culture, that is, the Euro-American, individualistic culture. Keizer (2006) has said, “I wanted God, no one less, to make the decision for me. Believing that vocations were made in heaven, I wanted the matchmaker to speak from that height.” (p.416). In a similar situation, I would rather explore what interests me or what is my real passion. I will not want to bother God on such small choices of life. I feel that this is my Euro-American side. Also when Amy Tan (2006), in her novel, Two Kinds, discusses the element of obedience between a parent and an offspring, I feel empathy with the daughter in several aspects (p.370). Obedience to parents has been a tradition that I assimilated from my Muslim culture and also a tradition that I broke partially when I began to live as a student in England and later in America. As a child, I was not a rebel. I ...Show more


Traditions And Life Choices: A Personal Inquiry Name University I am from Saudi Arabia and an international student living in America and I have also lived in England. I am a Muslim, still close to my traditions, but I allow myself to pick up and learn from other traditions in the world that make sense to me and improve me socially, personally and spiritually…
Author : lexie00
To whom should I listen essay example
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