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Monterrosa 1

Laura Monterrosa
Professor Jon Beadle
English 113B
11 May, 2016
My American and Salvadorian Culture
Growing up in Los Angeles, I was surrounded by people of Hispanic descent. The first
language that I spoke was Spanish. Both of my parents are Salvadorian, my mom only speaks
Spanish, while my dad speaks both English and Spanish. Growing up, I was exposed to the
Spanish language, and then the English. My cultures affect my identity because I have two
cultures that I am a part of, the American and Salvadorian culture. Culture is sharing rituals and
sharing a way of life, I share both culture and its great, but also difficult. The reason why My
Salvadoran and American culture changes my identity in the spaces I am is because both culture
are different. My cultures are important to me because they identify who I am. These two
cultures define who I am through the spaces of my home and school. I am outgoing and peaceful
person and I use these qualities for both my cultures. My culture is something I value and within
my culture I value my celebration, my languages, and my education.
My identity is part of my culture because I belong to my Salvadorian culture and
American culture. I perform my identity differently based on the spaces I am in. Celebrations is a
value of mine because the traditions I celebrate are American and Salvadorian. I was born in the
United States and my parents were born in El Salvador. I celebrate their Salvadorian tradition
and the American tradition because it is part of my life. My surroundings play a huge influence
of this value because the spaces I am in determines what culture I need to be in. The celebrations
in my culture identify who I am because I am a part of both cultures. I share two cultures by

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celebrating both American and Salvadorian traditions. Both cultures are different and my identity
changes based on the spaces I am in because it makes me act a certain way. When I celebrate my
American culture with my friends or at home, I see my American culture as calming which
makes me be at peace. The celebration I do for my American culture would be the usual modern
culture like Christmas, Thanksgiving and so forth. When I celebrate My Salvadorian culture, the
music and traditions are more exciting. There is more dancing and laughter in my Salvadorian
culture whereas my American culture, there is more talking. Although both cultures are exciting,
I noticed the energy in the cultures is different. The space I am in my Salvadorian culture
changes when I am home and the people around it. I am outgoing in my Salvadorian culture, but
I get shy when my Salvadorian culture use dance in their traditions because I don't really like it
or dancing in front of my family members. The music is also different because I don't really
listen to my Salvadorian culture, I am more around with my friends, so I listen to more of my
American culture music. In my American culture, my identity is perceived as calm, this changes
based on the space I am in because I can be with my family member and act presentable and if I
celebrate with my friends I am more outgoing. An example of this is when I am with my family
members, my actions are presented as shy, whereas with my friends I am more open and social.
Although I am outgoing in both cultures, I am more outgoing when I am with my friends, and
more serene with my family. My Salvadorian culture is more exciting, but my actions with my
Salvadorian culture is perceived as presentable The environment in my Salvadorian culture is
different and my identity changes based on people I am surrounded by and interact with. When I
am with my friends
In my culture I value the languages I speak. I share both English and Spanish language
based on my American and Spanish culture. Both languages help me communicate with a variety

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of people. When it comes to my English language, I am able to communicate with my friends,
my siblings, some family members and people within the English language. I learn how to speak
English when I was four year old and since then I have been speaking English my whole life.
Even though Spanish is the first language I spoke, I use my English language more than my
Spanish. I use my Spanish to speak with my family members. I speak Spanish in my parents
house because Spanish is used more there. In the article Self Identity and Culture by Ronald
Jackson, Cerise Glenn, and Kesha Williams, the authors mention, Communication scholars
often refer to the manner in which people first learn who they are through their interaction with
people in their native cultural groups (Jackson, Glenn, Williams 126). In other words,
communication depends on their first interactions. This is true because people pick up the
language based on cultural groups. This reminds me of my family because I picked up their
language. My identity changes at home because I speak Spanish at home. I use my English to
communicate with people and I also use it to help my mom translate. I value my Spanish
language because it helps me communicate with my family and friends. I use Spanish more with
my family because they use it more and that is how I am able to communicate with them.
Language influences my identity because it lets me know where I come from, language identifies
my Spanish culture and my English culture. Depending on the spaces I am in, my identity
changes in language. When I am with my friends at school or at home with my family my
identity changes because my language and vocabulary is different. For example, I would not call
my mom dude, but I would use that term with my friends. In the article Culture and
Communication by Anastacia Kurylo, Kurylo says, You manage your identities through your
communication ( Kurylo 4). We manage our identity through our communication. This is
important because communication is everything. We change spaces depending on where we are

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at and who we are with. When I speak Spanish because I use my Spanish language show my
Spanish identity. When I speak English, I use my English language to show my American
In both of my culture, education is important. In my Spanish culture
education is very important due to the fact that my parents did not have the
opportunity to attend college. Being first generation to go to college is
difficult because both of my cultures norms is to attend college. Although I
want to go to college and it is a personal choice of mine, my parents expect
me to go to college to. I also carry the pressure to prove to my parents that I
am able to be successful; this is because being a first generation student
means my parents did not attend a college. I do not want to struggle the way
my parents struggle and they do not want to see me struggle as well. In the
American culture, society expects people to go to college. Both cultures have
taught me that college is a necessity; I want to go to college because
education is a value of mine. When it comes to education, my identity does
not change much, this is because both of my cultures have the same views
on education. In the article, Examining the Impact of Culture on Academic
Performance, the author Matthew Lynch argues, People from different
cultural traditions may have an approach to education that differs from the
mainstream approach used in American schools. This means that each
cultural tradition has their own views in education. My Salvadorian culture
are very strict on education. My Spanish culture education is different from
the education in America, but both culture value education and so do I. This

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affects me personally because I am surrounded by my Spanish education
and my English. Although both cultures value education, I follow the
American culture in education because I am more surrounded by the
American culture than my Salvadorian culture. Everyone has their own view
on education, but both my culture share the value of education. I share
similar values that my friends and my family members have. My values are
based on the people I am surrounded by and my culture, but that does not
mean I follow the norms of what I need to value just because my cultures say
so. In an article called Why Is the Role of Education in a Culture Important to
International Companies? by Paul Cole-Ingait, Demand Media, the author
declares Education in cultures enhances the capacity of your personnel to
understand and acknowledge the critical aspects of cultural diversity. This is
true because both my culture value education and believe that having
knowledge is good. My education in both culture helped be understand my
values and help be shape my identity. I understand that both my cultures are
different and based on the spaces I am in, I am able to be a part of both
cultures without valuing one more than the other.
Cultural is sharing the way of life, its sharing rituals. I share both Salvadorian and
American cultures. Both cultures are different and I am glad that I part of both because I get to
experiences two different worlds that I can learn from. My identity changes as I change spaces in
my culture because both cultures are different and the space is different. My identity changes
based on the spaces that I am in like home and school and the people I am with. I value my
celebration, my languages, and my education. These values are a part of both my American and

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Spanish culture because they represent my identity. My culture changes my identity when I am at
home and at school because the spaces are different. The ways I communicate with members of
my cultural group is different because the space changes. I can be at home and have one identity
or be at school and have another. Overall my identity changes in my culture celebration,
languages, and education. In one cultural group I speak Spanish and in the other I speak English.
My values are language and education. Being first generation is hard because it sets a pressure to
do well at school and keep going on. I believed that my language and education will bring
success because I will have more knowledge and it will benefit me in the future.
Work Cited
Cole, Paul. "Why Is the Role of Education in a Culture Important to International Companies?"
Chron Smallbusiness. N.p., n.d. Web.
Kurylo, Anastacia. Culture and Communication.Inter/Cultural Communication. Los Angeles:
Sage Publications, 2013. Print
Lynch, Matthew. "Examining the Impact of Culture on Academic Performance." Huffingtonpost
Education. Ed.D., 27 Dec. 2011. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.
Jackson II, Ronald L., Cerise L. Glenn, & Kesha Morant Williams. Self-Identity and Culture.
Inter/Cultural Communication. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2013. Print