University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.
“Eww, what is that?” were words I remember as I brought out the bento box my mom had packed for me.
My middle school lunch consisted of typical Japanese cuisine, and I didn’t see anything wrong with it when I was 13 years old. Hurt by those words, I didn’t understand why my friend would say such a thing. Because my parents are Japanese immigrants, I grew up with the culture of my Japanese parents as they raised me to be the first Japanese-American in my family. However, when I realized that I was different from the rest of the kids at the predominantly Caucasian middle school, I hid my Japanese characteristics as much as possible to fit in.
That changed in high school. Again, I was in the same situation where I brought out my bento box lunch. Instead of disgust I was met with curiosity. Akash exclaimed, “Woah! What is that?” Uncertain of how to answer, I asked, “You wanna try some?” Beginning with that bento box, Akash embraced my Japanese culture and later on became one of my closest friends.
Unlike the monoculture of my middle school, I was a part of the diverse International Baccalaureate program with students from all over the world. I learned to embrace my differences as they made me unique, and I became proud of whom I...
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