Tradition, Culture and Identity

To get a better idea of the topic I have chosen, here are definitions of each of the key terms. A tradition is a belief with a symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past that is passed down by people within a group or community. Traditions are usually what brings together family and friends. Culture could be defined as the way a person lives. This includes their beliefs, customs, and behavior. Certain ceremonies and languages related to a person’s culture usually play an important part in their lives.

Identity is the qualities, beliefs or personalities that make up a person or group.

Ways How People’s Cultural Identities Can Be Affected

When people move abroad they have 2 homes; the one they’ve just left and the one they’ve just come to. In most cases, these 2 homes differ greatly from each other. It will take quite a lot of time for the migrants to overcome these cultural barriers and through this process, they find themselves to be facing a cultural identity issue.

Cultural identity is the sense of belonging people have to a certain culture. It reveals the person’s heritage as well as help them identify with others who have the same tradition or similar beliefs. When migrating, people tend to lose this sense of belonging. They may face confusion about what culture they identify with, especially their parents are the migrants who grew up in a different country. It is quite common for them to face discrimination from society for being of a different culture.

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This may cause them to feel pressured when trying to identify with both cultures.

Another issue that arises when involved with an individual’s ethnicity is racism. Racism is discrimination directed towards a person based on their nationality and skin tone. It is a form of discrimination that can be seen in almost all environments such as schools, workplaces, etc. Most people who make racist comments or do racist things often do not even think about the consequences of their actions and usually offending some people unintentionally. Below are some actions that are considered racist and should be avoided:

  • Leaving out people from activities because of where they’re from.
  • Making fun of certain traditions associated with certain cultures.
  • Comparing and judging skin tones.
  • Insulting people’s nationalities.
  • Believing stereotypes and avoiding people as a result of it.

At the end of the day, we are all humans and we all deserve to be treated equally. In a world without racism, a poor African woman would be treated with the same respect that would be given to a wealthy American man. Racism is a serious issue that would be nearly impossible to solve. However, we could all try minimizing it in a number of ways. For instance, whenever we talk about anything related to ethnicities, we should all think thoroughly about what we are going to say before actually saying it. None of us get to chose which country we are born in and in most cases, we are forced to stick to practicing the same religions as our family. Racism is an unfair form of offense that we should all avoid.

Could Cultural Identity Issues be a Threat to a Person’s Way of Life?

In several ways, yes. According to research, countries such as Greece, Japan and Hungary strongly believe that one’s country of birth is the main factor that decides one’s national or cultural identity. In such countries, children of migrants would tend to face issues regarding their nationality. If an American was born and raised in Greece would they be considered Greek or would they associate themselves more with their American heritage? For people like this, trying to identify with just one particular nationality may put a lot of pressure on them. Eventually, they may start developing a mental illness. They may become extremely insecure when confronted about their ethnicity and may in the long term develop an anxiety disorder. This will in turn gradually lessen their self-esteem and they will begin to question themselves. They will start questioning their beliefs, interests, and passions, which will have a considerable impact on the way they see themselves.

Even those who identify as one particular national identity may suffer from mental illnesses due to racist comments that they may receive from the people around them. They may refrain from practicing certain traditions that are unique to their culture out of fear that they will be bullied for doing so.

How Can Cultural Identity Issues be Solved?

People suffering from cultural issues could try out therapy. Therapists specializing in the field of cultural diversity would be ideal as they usually know a lot about their patients’ ethnic background and language. This would create a comfortable atmosphere where they will be able to sort out the issues they have regarding their cultural identity. This may not rid them completely of the identity issues they have developed. However, it will help them come to terms with their cultural identity and the traditions that they practice. Traditions tend to have quite a major impact on what people think about. Through therapy, people suffering from cultural identity issues will ideally be more comfortable with their own respective traditions and less conscious of what others think of those traditions. In basic terms, therapy will give them the much-needed confidence that they would otherwise lack when confronted about their nationality.

In conclusion, a person’s culture and the traditions they practice play an important role in their lives and a lack of both of these could lead to issues such as identity crisis and mental illness.

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Tradition, Culture and Identity. (2022, Jan 19). Retrieved from

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