MY CULTURE

OLUWABUNMI - GAINESVILLE, Florida
Entered on October 30, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that my culture is my life, and that I am nohting without it. I would never want to change who I am even if it would cost me my life. I love being Nigerian, I love being different from other people. But there were times when I didn’t think the same way.

When I was in 3rd or 4th grade everyone made fun of me that I was different and I didn’t have all the looks the white people had. I had los of troubles, I went home crying, wishing that I was never Nigerian or black or anything at all. I wanted to just fit in with the rest of the “normal” people, and wear everything that they wore. We didn’t eat pizzas or hamburgers, we ate our kinds of food. At the time I thought that it was just so embaarassing that I didn’t have a picture purfect life and all my friends thought I was super weird. Then, some time later, it hit me. There is no such thing as picture perfect. I had a great family. I liked what I ate, and what I wore, and the way my parents talked. I didn’t need to be white to prove that. I finally made up my mind that what people said about my culture didn’t bother me at all. I was pround of my kinky hair( and besides, Lil Wayne made a song about my hair) and my soft brown skin. I wouldn’t change that.

But I bacame insecure once more in 7th and 8th grade. I didn’t know what came over me, but I couldn’t stand it when people told me that I wasn’t good eneough to be an African American. I thought that I was good enough. I mean, I never had the “ghetto” talk and walk they all had. I also never had their fashionable clothes. I was in distress once again. I looked in my mirror and pretended to be this super cool black irl that everyone loved and wanted to be like. I pretended that all the fine boys drooled all over me because I was so put together and… “African American.” I even tried the walk and the talk. I didn’t know what to do to make them pleased with me. The next day I went to school and reenacted what I did in the mirror. Things didn’t turn out exactly how I expected. Everyone laughed at me. I cried and cried, untill my best friend, Candace told me I didn’t have to be like them. I didn’t have to fit in. And I believed her. Now, I have lots of friends, and I tell them about my culture. I believe that noone should ever look down on someone because of their culture. I am Nigerian and I am proud. This I believe.