About this sample
About this sample
Words: 637 |
4 min read
Published: Jul 18, 2018
Words: 637|Pages: 2|4 min read
I gaze at the pieces of an intricate puzzle: A stone Indian elephant on my desk, and a pale Korean doll on the shelf above it, draped in crimson and gold, with flowing black hair. The wall is adorned with my name on a sheet of white silk, my name itself painted in delicate Chinese brushstrokes. Traditional African bracelets line my jewelry box, paired with bangles from Afghanistan. The sunlight catches the green jade good luck charm on my windowsill, shining brilliantly.
It is difficult to remember, after admiring these treasures, that I live in a small American suburb. But ever since I can remember, I have always possessed a deep love for histories and cultures that are different from my own. My mother made it her goal to read to me at least five different renditions of Cinderella, including ones set in Africa and Asia. Under her guidance, I became distinctly aware that the world encompassed more than the small apartment where I resided; my eagerness to explore that world's diversity bled into everyday life. I traded humdrum American cuisine for samosas, sushi, and plantains; cultural festivals in nearby towns and on the National Mall became my stomping grounds; local museums became my little Shangri-las. Books such as Memoirs of a Geisha and Things Fall Apart whisked me away to unknown lands, and I relished every opportunity to expand my global knowledge. Even my favorite childhood TV show, Avatar: the Last Airbender, reflected this desire, drawing upon East Asian societies and featuring a bald quasi-Buddhist monk as its protagonist. And yet, it still wasn't enough. I needed more.
Unable to afford the burdensome expense of world travel, I sought a deeper understanding of the globe at school, enrolling in Yoga, Comparative Religions, and AP World and US History. I learned about Chakras, discovered the common themes behind human spirituality, and saw the history of America -- and then mankind -- unfurl before my eyes. I often fantasized about where I would go, given the opportunity, and eventually I grew restless, wondering why my small little suburb couldn't be enough. Why did I have this urge to explore what seemed unattainable?
The answer, I believe, stems from my upbringing. As I mentioned before, my mother was determined to show me the importance of diversity even when I was a young girl. But it also goes beyond that. I rarely see my father, a Ghanaian immigrant. When I was growing up he was present more frequently, sharing with me stories of his country and trying to teach me words in his native language, Twi. But after I turned five, his visits faded before stopping altogether. My mind sometimes wanders to my lost African heritage: I long to embrace my African half, but am somewhat at a loss about how to do so without my father's guidance. I believe that this, above all else, spurred my sudden interest in exotic cultures, African especially. It stemmed from a need to reconnect with a buried part of myself.
So whenever I gaze around my room, at the various artifacts I've collected over the years, I ponder their true significance. I marvel at the connectedness that they foster, bringing people from different continents together in a transcendental, shared space. It's similar to the feeling that I get around my friends, who hail from America, Africa, China, India, and Israel. We are all different in distinctive ways, and yet we maintain a common understanding. The shared soul of humanity pulses through every one of us, and I believe that cultural diversity serves as a reminder of the world's inherent beauty. It makes us one entity.
I smile as I gaze at the objects around my room, dreaming of exotic lands as the Earth turns slowly and the day fades away.
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