Cultural identity is what defines a person and their beliefs. Cultural identity includes religion, gender, ethnicity, nationality, social class, and many other ways of identifying what makes “a person.” In cultural identity a person might identify themselves under a certain category, but someone else might identify them as belonging to a different category. For me, family has the biggest influence on my cultural identity. The decisions I make need to meet the approval of my family. Family is the most important thing to me and it has contributed to my religious values as well as my love of sports. In essence, my family has me in a loving armbar to guide me in becoming a better person.
Family, for many people, has a strong influence on cultural identity. I am no different. My cultural background is heavily influenced by my parents. My mom was raised Roman Catholic and went to a parochial school. My dad was raised a Methodist and went to Sunday school. My mom observes her religion more strictly due to her upbringing. My dad was never forced to go to church or Sunday school, therefore he does not practice his religion strictly. Religion is a major influence of my mother’s life, and because of this, I have been raised Roman Catholic. I attended Catholic school, and have followed the Sacraments according to Catholic Doctrine.
My father has influenced my drive to succeed in athletics. As a teen, my dad wrestled and played football. Before I was able to wrestle, my dad would show me wrestling moves. Due to this upbringing, I have a passion for wrestling, which I have been doing for twelve years. Wrestling maybe a sport, but because of my dad's influence, it is a way of life. Wrestling has me in a firm headlock in my drive for success. I firmly believe that my competitiveness, and my belief that god gives people certain raw talents, contributes to my passion to meet my family’s expectations. I believe that I have to work in order to maximize my potential.
Being a major role model, my father has an influence on my preference of sports teams. My great grandfather, being a Brown’s fan, influenced my father to love the Browns. Because of my father, I also, am a dedicated fan of the Cleveland Browns (I’m used to losing by now). Through wrestling and other sports I have learned how to deal and overcome adverse situations. (Since 1999 the browns have not had a winning season). Wrestling is a big part of my cultural identity. Regardless of where I end in life, whatever I have on, underneath it will always be a singlet (wrestling tights). Wrestlers are a different breed. No sport will ever be able to teach a person as many life lessons as wrestling has taught me. For example, during wrestling season, I have to cut weight to wrestle a lower weight class. Cutting weight has taught me to plan ahead, or not procrastinate. Life is not always easy, but when time and effort is put into an adverse situation, results are positive no matter the physical outcome.
Cultural identity shapes our culture, and ourselves. Without cultural identity a person will not be able to identify who they are as a person, nor will people be able to identify people in the culture we live in. On top of this it also contributes greatly to how individuals make life choices. As wrestling has taught me, I will not back down from a challenge. In fact, some of the worlds greatest success stories, have come from challenges.
In conclusion, I feel cultural identity defines different aspects of I am. Cultural identity plays a great role on how a person identifies. Though a great indicator, my cultural identity is not perfect, because I will sometimes make decisions contrary to my background.