|Originally posted by Halcyon+On+On |
Yeah, you have a point. I mean, other than the food, music, movies and language I speak, what makes me American apart from my location? Oh...
Your habits, for one? As an American, you know what Thanksgiving is and might even celebrate it: I didn't know it existed until my late teens, and didn't know what it meant until my early twenties. And then there's your cultural heritage as well: You Americans value self-reliance (a legacy of Emerson's works, perhaps?) in a way that is almost alien to me. Yet you probably left home quite a few years ago: that's almost unheard of where I live (I'm an exception, and I'm well conscious of the foreign influence that led me to leave home way before marriage).
Back to my Japanesedom (or lack thereof), I'm highly indisciplined, somewhat insubordinate, an extremely individualistic naysayer, and lack any sense of "social harmony". I can't name 5 Japanese holidays, still have a rather Christian way of dealing with sexuality, and most1 thinkers that have shaped my worldview are either American or European (putting me at odds with Brazilian society quite a few times). Hell, I've had problems with actual Japanese people in the past (or people who considered themselves to be Japanese) exactly because I ended up being a maverick where I worked and a bit of a loner.
So, yeah, there's much more to identity than that. In all honesty, I feel my European ancestry is way more pronounced than anything Asian I could have in my personality.
1 Then there's the Theravada Buddhism that influenced me in my late teens... but then again, it isn't Japanese either. I picked it up from Vietnamese writers and the Buddha never heard of the archipelago in his life time.