Embracing one’s culture is, in my opinion, a Junoesque phenomenon. It’s information passed down from ancestors encoding their way of life, with traditions that can be traced back hundreds of years. There’s an unapologetic pride in who they are and where their families originated from; I have a friend who can trace his ancestry all the way back to when his family arrived in America in the 1600s! I used to envy people like this, who are mostly of a certain race and give you whole timelines and stories about their ancestors. I was removed from my birth mother’s care when I was 9 years old, so I didn’t have the chance to explore my ancestry. Even now that I have constant contact with her we aren’t 100% certain of every race we come from. I know that my maternal Grandfather’s family originated from Mexico, and my maternal Grandmother’s family is Irish, German and Native American. My paternal Grandfather’s family came from Africa – I’m not certain from which region – and I know that my paternal Grandmother was also part Puerto Rican. As you can see, I come from a huge background of races, and I proudly embrace every one of them, at least, the ones that I’m sure about. That’s not to say that I am condoning performing ceremonial rituals and wearing ceremonial attire just to look cute on Instagram, Coachella or any other music festival. If nothing is known about it, it’s best to leave it to the people who do and have earned the right to perform and wear such things.
Embracing my many cultures is not always easy though. There are people who believe that since I’m not “purely” that race I’m in some way invalid and that by wearing clothing (not ceremonial) or even just saying that I come from that race is offensive. That brings me to another point: no one is purely anything. We are all mixtures of different races, it’s a scientific fact. I – and the many multicultural individuals around the world – cannot help the fact that we are who we are, and we shouldn’t have to apologize for wanting to learn about our culture, as they have learned about theirs. If you are of a multicultural background, I encourage you to learn about and embrace your many cultures. I have had an adventure learning about the cultures that I for certain know about, and look forward to learning about the cultures that I have yet to discover.