I was born in Royal-Oak, Michigan, but without any hesitation, I state that I am the product of two very different cultures. Both of my parents are one hundred percent Romanians, they moved to the United States twenty-three years ago. For so many times I heard them talking about Romania origins as a country, how Romania was formed, about Romanians and about their culture. One of my dad’s favorite stories is about Decebalus, how Decebalus was one of the feared-enemy for Romans, how he was fighting in three wars against the Roman Empire until he was defeated by Trajan. My dad also told me that Decebalus name means powerful, brave in Dacian and he chooses to commit suicide to avoid capture. In Romania for all Romanians, Decebalus is considered a national hero he is the proof of the Dacian origins of the Romanians.
Last summer I spent the whole month of July in Romania. Romania is a country with lots of traditions and a powerful history. One of my favorite souvenirs from Romania is a small copy of a carved statue of Decebalus. The statue was my gift for my entire family, a gift which will remind us of our origins, about our hero, and about our history.
After all these years of living in the United States, my family and I are still very connected with Romanian culture. In our family the Romanian culture can be seen in; food, the way we celebrate some holidays, religion, friends, music and language. Proudly, I can say that for Christmas and Easter our home smells like any other home from Romania. The Christmas and the Easter smell in my home are from the aroma of the Romanian traditional food. The traditional sarmale is one of my favorite dishes which in our family we eat every year at Christmas time. For Easter, our house smells sweet because of the aroma of the sweet Cozonac, a special Romanian bread which my mom makes just for Easter, a homemade sweet bread with raisins and walnuts.
From the day I was born until the age of ten, I was really close to my grandparents. My grandparents taught me the Romanian language and they told me lots of stories from Romanian folklore. They played a big role through my childhood and they were my connection to my roots. These are examples which reflect my Romanian cultural identity; these examples show how in my family the Romanian traditions are preserved.
In the beginning, I said that I am the product of two different cultures. I say this not because I was born in the United States but because my family and I are every day in touch with American traditions. I have American friends, I celebrate and respect any American traditions and customs.
Nowadays, we are now living in a multicultural world where it is normal to try to keep our roots, but also to adapt to the world in which we live day by day.
Culture determines our values, our history, how we interact with the world and how we interact with the people around us. Culture includes our nation history, our religion, our traditions, and the things or people which we are proud of. Culture makes us unique even if we live in a multicultural world.
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