On the Inside and Outside of Culture

Throughout the world, different people from all countries are connected in so many ways. The most common connection is our culture. Each country, state, city and town have different cultures that vary between the environment and the people who live within the community. Our prior generations have proved to us that we can live in harmony and in segregation. This essay is not about the individuals who distinguish us as harmonious or separated, but it is to explain how so many cultures have advantages and disadvantages to understanding cultures both as an insider and a outsider.

The advantages of understanding a culture on the inside are family traditions, completely immersing yourself with in the people and practices, and understanding stereotypes to his or her culture. Firstly, the base of where all cultures thrive are from family traditions, such as going to church, serving in the military, and even arranged marriages. Every culture has its own twist to the family traditions that live for years and years. Family traditions have been around for centuries. They bring families together in time for need and in times of wealth. These traditions are different in every family, but most are derived from the cultures that they have practiced for centuries. Leslie Silko, author of the essay, Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit, writes about her family traditions that have been practiced for thousands of years, story telling. She writes, “ Grandma A’mooh would tell about the old days, family stories about relatives who had been killed by the apache raiders who stole the sheep our relatives had been herding near Swahnee” (397). Observing family traditions as an insider benefit’s the individual by giving them a family to support them. They also keep the family strong within their culture and beliefs as a group.
Secondly, the people and practices that a culture possess can be death defying stunts to meditating in the meadows of the high Chinese alps. Once a person is...