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Racha Salha PROV 103-AC2 Speech 5: My Culture

I. Attention getter: According to Johan Huizinga, a Dutch historian of the end of the 19th century, in his book The Shadow of Tomorrow, "one of the fundamental features of culture is that all culture has an element of striving ". Strive is about doing an effort to attain a goal. And indeed, I think that the first thing to do before saying that we are entirely part of a culture is doing our best to understand that culture, in every way.

II. Establishment of Ethos: Personally, I have always been influenced by three different cultures: Syrian, Moroccan and French, and even if I actually never felt excluded from any, I perfectly know what it means to do an effort to be part of a community.

III. Central Idea: Now, when I try to define my own culture, I realize that it’s actually by trying to mix these three different cultures together, that I finally managed becoming a part of each one of them.

IV. Preview Statement: As a Syrian who live in Morocco and who always had a French school education, I would like to speak today about two things that I consider essential to be part of the Moroccan culture: to respect Moroccans, and to be an open person.

Transition: Let us begin with my first point: to be part of a culture, we should respect that


Body Cause: My father always told me that we are all, my family and I, guests in Morocco, so that we have to be respectful to people that welcomed us. Subpoint 1: According to the 2012 study of a Moroccan magazine called "Yabiladi", more than 11% of the immigrants in Morocco are from the Middle East, and mainly from Syria. Adaptation is usually not very difficult for us, because of the many things we have in common, like the Religion or the language. Subpoint 2: That's why once we understand the Moroccan traditions, we become used to them. For instance, in Morocco, when women greet each other, they sometimes kiss more than 6 times on both cheeks, asking about parents, family, children etc. That's not the way we do in my family, however by respect I do the same and keep quiet, as I do in general when I don't agree with something.

Internal Summary: In sum, I think that the most important when we live in a foreign country is to be respectful of that country's traditions, and to never criticize them. That way, it will be easier for us to adapt, and maybe after a while, to become a part of that country's culture.

Transition: There is another important point to be part of the Moroccan culture, and it is to be an open person. Let us talk more precisely about this virtue.

Subpoint 1: According to the dictionary, being open-minded is having or showing a mind receptive to new ideas or arguments. However, what I mean by "being an open person" is not only to be open-minded, but also to be open to new things in general, like learning foreign languages, or discovering foreign

countries. And indeed, what I first noticed about Moroccans is that they have a really good ear for languages. In Tangier for example, the city where I am from, most of people speak at least four languages: Arabic, French, English, but also Spanish because Tangier is in front of Spain and very close to it. Subpoint 2: People in Morocco like new things too. They like foreigners and are very warm and hospitable. In Morocco, whether you are Moroccan or not, people are very helpful to each other. One example is that if someone's car breaks down in the middle of the street, everyone will offer to help pushing it. That is how people are, and that is how we should behave when we live in Morocco. People there are very kind-hearted, and they adapt easily to anything.

Internal Summary: To recap, it is important to be an open person when we live in Morocco because people there are very open themselves. So the only way to get on with them, and to be part of their culture, is to be and to remain open to any change, as they do.

Transition: Now that I have discussed the two points that I think are essential to be part of the Moroccan culture, and of a culture in general, I will move to the last part of my speech.

Restate central idea: To conclude, it is actually by mixing the French, Moroccan and Syrian cultures together that I built my own culture. Indeed, even if I consider myself Syrian first, French and Moroccan cultures are still very present in my life. Summarize main points: So as I keep my Syrian culture, I remain respectful of other cultures, and open enough to learn from them. And that is how after growing up in Morocco and realizing how much I actually love that country, I became part of the Moroccan culture.

Tie back to introduction/analogy: Finally, choosing this topic for my speech made me realize how much I am fortunate to be familiar with more than one culture. If I had to describe my culture in one word, I would compare it to a large painting. And as a painter needs colors in order to bring life to his work, I got inspired by different cultures to create mine.


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