Culture Essay


Culture Essay Sample

“Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed; the culture reflects the realities of people workingtogether every day.” -Frances Hesselbein. Even though my background is Lebanese, I am not a typical representative of my culture. For the past thirteen years, I have been studying in a French school. Most of my life, I interacted with people from the French and/or European culture. Surrounded by the Arab culture outside the universe of the school, I found myself not comfortable and hardly integrated with the culture that represented my heritage. Moving to the midst of a Middle Eastern culture, I was surprised to realize that I do not know what a true Middle Eastern culture is. My culture identity evolved through the changes in my knowledge, attitude, behaviour and values.

I believe that the change in culture identity occurred for three reason. Firstly, my knowledge mixed between the European and Arab culture.  Secondly, my attitude and behaviour have always been more similar to the European than Arab culture.  Thirdly, my culture is a combination of unique Lebanese and European environment.  I would like to add that my knowledge about my culture is superficial. I know briefly the history of my country but I am not familiar with the culture of other Arab countries. I have no idea of the Arab vision of the world.  Nevertheless, I am adapting to the modern Arab culture and traditions.  I know many kinds of the food that Arab culture provides and I promote the Islamic point of view on life.

Nevertheless, studying in a French school, I learnt mainly the history of France and European countries including Germany, Spain and Russia. I recognize their noble and lowly accomplishes. I appreciate the development of their countries, for example revolution for a better government and civil war for the sake of peace. I feel more comfortable talking about the glories of France and the United States in the First World War than talking about the civil war in Lebanon. Einstein, representative of the European history, discovered the physics theory. Undoubtedly, I follow some of the European traditions. For example, I know the value of money and hard work. 

I cannot deny that my attitude and behaviour are more common for Europeans than Arabs. Living in a Middle Eastern environment, I was forced to learn the Arabic language. Until today, I have not mastered my native language. Sometimes I receive critics about my way of talking but thanks to diverse environment, my beliefs did not completely metamorphose. I still believe that there is one god above us.

   On the other side, the French atmosphere gave me confidence to speak French. When I come to Dubai, I feel some abnormalities because there is no French language spoken on the streets. It changed my way of thinking and even living.  I think that I became civilized.  I also believe that the relations between men and women should be freer in the Middle Eastern countries and women should have more rights. In addition, I think that it is inappropriate to eat with own hands or to differentiate people based on their race.

   Moreover, my values have shaped with the unique blend of European culture and Muslim beliefs. Even though my knowledge and my attitude and behaviour are similar to the Europeans culture, I do exercise a lot of patriotism to my country and other Arab cultures. In other words, I would fight for my country if something happened. Moreover, Arab culture inspires me to become better. For example, I strongly believe that family members should be close and in contact with each other. European children after the legal age, on the other side, do not support any relations with the families.  European patriotism is non-existent as well. For instance, European countries can fight with each other in a war and use mass destruction weapons against the enemies.  Thus, power is a matter of physical rather than intellectual strength.

In conclusion, my culture identity was impacted by studying in a French school and communicating with people from the European background. My knowledge, attitude and behaviour are the result of the unique mix of the European and Arab cultures.  Nevertheless, the European culture has taken the bigger part of my life while my values will always remain Arab.

Word Count: 724 (3 pages)

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