Tuesday, July 3, 2012

American culture?

Linnea brought up an interesting topic on Friday... Basically: Does America have its own culture? 

After some thought, I've come to the conclusion that America never had its own culture due to the way it was founded. In the end, America was developed through many different countries with different languages, religions, cuisines and norms. These countries founded settlements in many separate regions, giving each section of America a distinct sub-culture that soon spread to every part of the country. Southern home-cooking can be found in every section of the country, not just the southern states. Lobster can be eaten in pretty much every state, despite its overall fame in Maine. Country music isn't just a backwoods, Appalachian tradition anymore, but a popular industry that has been able to meet all other genres with respect and great collaboration. Most larger cities have sections reflective of different areas of the world, featuring amazing nightlife and culinary opportunities. I'm sure we've all been to some form of "China Town" or been to supermarkets that cater specifically to a particular region's culinary delicacies. 

America doesn't have its own culture, but embraces the cultures of the world, creating the melting pot we've all grown to love. But, with such a melting pot comes grievances and issues that are hard to resolve. World views are challenged and belittled. The "American" side of the equation isn't very tolerant... I guess most citizens have forgotten what led their founding fathers to the new world: intolerance, persecution and a longing for freedom. We need to learn to accept people of all cultures, including religion... Without doing this, our country will remain divided. And frankly, I like the melting pot we have. I like knowing that I can go to a restaurant and order foreign cuisine as well as southern country cooking. I like being able to hear all sorts of genres on the radio. I like knowing that every state has a particular background based on the country that settled in that territory centuries before. Without this, America wouldn't be America anymore. 

Well, on that note, I hope everyone has a spectacular Fourth of July. Also, for those of you on vacations: have loads of fun!


-Shelby W.

(I just realized how much I mentioned food in this post... wow!)

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