Potluck Family: Multi-cultural Families Have an Advantage

December 18, 2008
By Ana Khadivi, New York, NY

I believe that living with a multi-cultural family is an advantage. I have two different families both made up with different cultures. One of my families being my mom and step dad and the other being my dad and step mom. My father is from Iran, my Step mom is from Lebanon, my step dad is British and my mother and I were born in the United States. I come from a Mexican heritage and she comes from Polish decent. Culture is an important issue within my family since none of us share the same background. Having these many cultures in my life are important because each family member brings a different culture into our families identity. Another reason why this idea is important to me is that since they come from all different places, they all bring different talents, opinions and unique ideas. I feel like I have a little piece of all these cultures in me since the people surrounding me brought those cultures into my life. Even though I have challenged my idea that living in a multi-cultural family is an advantage, my idea has become more powerful and important to me.
Living in a multi-cultural family is part of my identity because my opinions and ideas are based on what I hear from my family and also the knowledge I have also partly comes from the different cultures they offer into the mix. They all introduce me to new experiences and introduce me to new ideas. If my dad was not Persian, I probably wouldn’t have read Persepolis, and found out what a great story is and also I wouldn’t have found my favorite book. Since he introduced me to that book and told me what he experienced around the time of the Islamic Revolution, I have better understandings of the Persian culture and I now have more knowledge about another country in this world. My father’s Persian background gave me a greater understanding of my family’s identity. My step dad, Noah was born and raised in London, he also had a flat there that him and his sister would rent out to people. When they sold the flat, he had to go sign the paper work, which meant that my mom and I also went. If I didn’t have a connection to London like that, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience it. Having those two different cultures in my life, gave me new ideas and knowledge of them.
Several times I have challenged my own idea that living in a multi-cultural family is an advantage. One time that I seriously doubted it was at 5th grade graduation. I was there with my mom, step mom, dad and step dad. When we stood together we didn’t look at all alike. If you were to see us on the street, you wouldn’t think that we were a family. This made me doubt my idea because it can be hard not looking like anyone in your family and being different even with the people closest to you. It seemed like living in a multi-cultural family had its up and downs. Another way graduation made me question my idea, was that I wondered if people who come from the same place as their family have an advantage because they might know a lot of about one place. They might have more knowledge about one specific culture and know almost everything about it.
Even though I doubted my own idea, I think in ways it has made it stronger and important to me, these conflicts have made me believe in my idea even more. I realized that looking like people in your family doesn’t mean anything unless you all are connected. Even though I don’t look like my parents or stepparents, I would rather have all the knowledge they have given me and new perspectives they’ve shared.
Not looking like your parents and family members is hard but learning about multiple cultures and gaining new ideas and perspectives is a lot more important. When you live with people who don’t come from where you do, you receive a lot more ideas and opinions and gain new experiences that you might not get with people from the same culture. When your family comes from different cultural background, you aren’t at a disadvantage; you are definitely gaining knowledge, experience and new perspectives.

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This article has 2 comments.

Jodi said...
on Jan. 27 2009 at 7:36 pm
Ana, wonderful article. Your ideas are so clear and sincere. Thanks for posting!

dreamjing said...
on Jan. 26 2009 at 3:39 am

Great article! I enjoy reading it,you have a wonderful way to express yourself and the multi-culture you lived in.I can feel your doubt,pride and confidence.That is from your unique perception! Keep growing!

Best wishes



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