Sunday, April 18, 2010

Considerations of Cultural Identity

Some interesting developments on the subject matter of my book.  I saw an old friend recently that was taken aback by the fact that I was going to write about struggles with my culture or heritage.  Her fear was that because I come from a country that already has some negative stereotypes in the American media then anything disparaging I say about that country or culture will be blown out of proportion and used to further the negative misunderstandings of that country.

I have to say that she said it in a way that I found hurtful and patronizing but she did bring up something that I will have to think about very carefully.  When writing about anything like cultural identity, even if it is strictly ones own views of that identity, one needs to be careful not to generalize the entire culture or country.

My story is simply that, it is my story.  And I will work to make sure that whatever conclusions I reach about my culture will be based on only what I have seen and not a total evaluation of the past or the current  people of that culture.

Talking to her, or rather debating her, for the last few days has brought to light the fact that revealing myself in a memoir will have a marked impact on the relationships I have in my life.  Some good and some not so good.  But I'm ready for that.  I think you reach a place in your life where you are ready to show your authentic self to the world and inevitably some will like that self and some will not.  And that's OK.


  1. I think reaching the point in our lives where we are not afraid to show everyone our authentic selves is a wonderful place to be.

  2. i agree and be proud and accepting of who you are and of where you came from cause....without them, there'd be no you. if people get offended by your story, so be it. it's YOUR story and something that YOU should be proud of. those you have class and are not shallow will see your book for what it is and will respect you even more for your courage....

  3. You're exactly right, some people will be OK with the story you are telling, and others will not. But that's their own problem. You can't own the feelings of others and pretending that things aren't the way you truly see or feel them for the sake of not offending anyone else isn't really being truthful to yourself.

    Tell your story and be proud of it!

  4. Thank you for the encouragement. I'm still exploring what the exact theme will be but the journey has been interesting.

  5. I agree that you shouldn't apologize for your perspective. But it's also helpful to think about other perspectives people might take towards the subject, if only to properly prepare yourself for the future, and being thoughtful with your words accordingly! It's a shame your friend wasn't able to do the same.

    How exciting that these types of subjects are coming up as the book becomes more real!