This I Believe

rachel - Goshen, Indiana
Entered on November 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe Speech

I was born and raised in Gallup, New Mexico. Gallup is surrounded by Native American reservation. Gallup is divided with a population of 30% Native American, 30% Mexican/Hispanic, 30% Anglo/White, and the rest of the 10% is made up of Palestinians, Pakistanians, East Indian, and African American. However, on the weekends the population rises because many Native Americans come into town off of the reservations. The enrollment in the schools is a majority of Native Americans because many of the children come into town from the reservations. Gallup is often referred to as a melting pot of cultures.

By being raised in a town that is rich in diversity and cultures I have come to realize how blessed I am to have had the experience of interacting with so many different cultures and how it has impacted me as a person. I believe in being comfortable with other people from different cultural backgrounds.

I grew up without pre-conceived notions about people’s cultures or ethnicity. I grew up by getting to know a person by who they are as a person rather than by their skin color or culture. By growing up with people of different culture than of my own they have helped me understand their culture and develop a new perceptive on life. When I was younger I had a hard time understanding that people came from different ethnic backgrounds. One day when I was in the first grade, I came home from school and asked my mom why I wasn’t Navajo because that day all of the Navajo kids in my school got free bags of clothes from the Navajo government. If the Navajo families want extra financial help they have to register through the Navajo government. The Navajo government offers supplement to their people as a way to encourage Navajo families to keep their kids in school. Another situation where I had difficult time realizing that there was a difference between cultures was when I playing at a park when I was eight years old. I was playing on the monkey bars when this Navajo girl came up to me and said, “Move out of the way white girl!” I turned around to look at her and said, “I’m not white.” The girl just kind of looked at me with a blank stare and walked away.

By being raised in a town where I was basically a minority I have come to believe in developing an understanding with other people’s cultures. By developing an understanding with other cultures it helps solve problems and conflicts in a peaceful manner rather than using war or hateful tactics to solve problems. I believe in being open minded and embracing other cultures because the world is so much more interesting and enjoyable. By embracing other cultures we are expose to new cultural food, music, and traditions.

I believe in being culturally diverse.