What Culture Brings To The Table

Cultural Diversity Adds to Campus Life.

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Sophomore Shone Mombo moved to America from Libreville, Gabon, when he was a small child, but he’s not sure exactly when. To this day, he reminisces on memories of playing with friends and hanging out by the corner store afterwards. It was all an odd change of scenery for Shone. It was quite a difficult transition, and his culture was not very well known, even now.

“Some people saw it as weird,” Shone said, but for him it was the new cultures around him that seemed abnormal.

If Shone could go back and give his younger-self advice he knows exactly what he’d say.

“Don’t care what people say, just live your life.”

Coming from Gabon, where Shone said teachers were allowed to hit students, it was strange to see how disrespectful some of the kids in America can be. From the education system to even  the parties and food, it was atypical to his standard.

Language teacher Carlos Ropa also experienced this culture shock as an immigrant. His European cultures fit well with American culture, yet as an immigrant, he was split down the middle.

“You’re neither here nor there, but you’re something special; you’re a little bit of both,” he said.

Ropa believes that the culture of an immigrant comes from the will to define yourself and why you’re searching for something more.

“You do have to define your own acceptance to who you are,” Ropa said.

Although many people have brought their cultures here themselves, some instead grew up here with cultures that their  ancestors carried with them from their homelands.

Sophomore Robin Carter is an example of this transfer of ancestral cultures. Having such a large connection to the ideas and beliefs of her Irish predecessors, Robin grew up with a fascination for them, yet she often felt like there was a disconnection.

“It’s a constant battle of ‘I’m celebrating what my ancestors wanted me to,’ and ‘I’m too American to do this.’”

Robin said that she felt out of place celebrating their traditions because she felt that being so far away from the origin of her culture disconnected her from it.

“Coming to somewhere that’s different and new and continue to carry your culture and traditions takes power that only strong-willed people can persevere through,” Robin said.

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