Originally published in La Plaza Press
By MIA ARANDA
Every culture has a unique set of values, beliefs and traditions that define themselves from others. From religion to cuisine to language, culture is generally established at a young age leading to customs being passed down from generation to generation. Each culture’s stories deserved to be told in order for others to value and appreciate them more.
Students from Redlands East Valley, Citrus Valley, and Redlands High School shared an aspect in each of their cultures.
“My favorite Indonesian tradition is when the kids and parents dance called manortor and wear traditional clothing for any occasion.” – Jessica Simbolon, RHS junior
“Hanami [Japanese] – appreciating the beauty of flowers, and especially of blossoming cherry trees. ” – Sophia Le, REV sophomore
“I am Greek and I love making Greek cookies with my family. They’re twist-shaped cookies that are so good!” – Isabella Bojorquez, CV senior
“My favorite tradition in my culture is giving up bad addictions and habits during ‘lent.’ This occurs during the spring and Catholics like myself do this from Ash Wednesday until Easter. Lent betters me as a person, and I enjoy this time of the year.” Jacob Echevarria, RHS senior
“One of my favorite traditions in my culture would probably be weddings because Arab weddings involve many things such as social interactions, dancing, and the entertainment. Many Arab weddings have the bride walk down the aisle or stairs with her groom while the zaffah group comes in with them to bring more attraction towards the bride and groom. Zaffah is a group of men that hit drums to the beat of the music.” – Lara Takkouche, REV junior
“My favorite tradition celebrated in my culture is Dia de los Muertos. Every year my family celebrates our ancestors and the ones that passed before us. It allows us to honor them and to celebrate life.” – Madison Jimenez, RHS senior
“Like Chinese and other various cultures, in Vietnamese culture, we celebrate Tết, which is Vietnamese New Years. During Tết, we dress up in traditional dresses called Áo Dài, and join together with friends and family to gamble, eat traditional and seasonal foods, give and receive lì xì (lucky red envelope money), and wish each other luck in the new year.” – Trinity Le, CV freshman
CV freshman Trinity Le wears a traditional dress, called Áo Dài, to celebrate Tết, otherwise known as the Vietnamese New Year. Tết marks the beginning of each lunar new year and is often celebrated with sociable activities, ancestral worship and traditional foods. (Courtesy of Trinity Le)
These are Vietnamese Chung cakes, which are square sticky rice cakes often filled with pork and green beans and covered with bamboo leaves and strings. (Courtesy of Trinity Le)
Everyone has their perspectives of various cultures and although no culture is identical, occasionally they share similar characteristics. Learning about cultures from people who are immersed personally in their culture provides more authenticity than assumptions and can encourage an open-minded worldview.