The Meaning of Culture for an Individual

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The word “culture” has so many different meanings. Living in California I have always been surrounded by so many different ethnicities groups. I belong to Punjabi culture and the culture is from the Punjab region in India. Punjabi culture is one of the oldest and the richest culture in world history. Punjabi culture is distributed throughout the world. The word Punjab means the land of five rivers and a state located in northern India. One of the biggest artifacts that are related to me is “Kara” (a bracelet worn by Punjabis on their right hand). This is one of the objects that you can identify a Punjabi/Sikh with. It is a cultural and religious bracelet. Its importance is when we wear this “Kara” reminds us to do good deeds, it also symbolizes strength and connection to God. I have been wearing a Kara since the day I was born till now on my right hand. It relates to me because it reminds me to do good deeds and reminds me to always choose the right path because it is always on my hand 24/7.

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Another artifact that I closely relate to is Indian/Punjabi food. Every culture in this world has its own unique food. Indian/Punjabi food is known for its herbs, grains, and spice. Spices are heart and soul to Indian cooking. Indian food includes Punjabi food has a lot of variety between vegetarian food and non-vegetarian food. The spice on Punjabi food can go up to minimal to extremely high. One of the most popular Indian food is Curry, Roti(tortilla), Sarhon da Saag, etc. Punjab is a major producer of wheat, rice, potatoes, sugarcane, maize, fruits, dairy products and etc. This means a natural diet of Punjab is vegetarian rather than non-vegetarian. Sikhism has widely followed religion in Punjab which forbids the consumption of beef and discourages the consumption of meat. therefore, the majority population in Punjab is vegetarian. I have been a vegetarian for 10 years now. I eat Indian food every day since the day I was born. The food consists of Roti(tortilla) and Sabji(Vegetable dishes). This relates to because this is what I eat every single day of my life.

People living in the Punjab region are primarily Sikh while some are Hindu. Sikhism is the world's fifth-largest religion and believes that there is only One God. The third artifact that is close to me is my religion, Sikhism. I have always been a religious person since I was a child and that made me prepared to accept the religion completely and follow the path to be a full baptized Sikh. Moreover, it is a huge part of my life because my morals and ethics are drivin from my religion. It makes me a better person. The traditional dress for Punjabi women is a Salwar-kameez and for men, it will be the Kurta Pajama. I mostly wore western clothes when I went to school when I was a child other than that I wore a Salwar suit at home, wedding and to the temple. I wore it a lot because we had a lot of functions and parties where the dress code was Salwaar-kameez.

Learning how to read is one of the important things we need to learn while growing up. Like every other child, my parents also read books to me when I was a child. My parents read me a lot of cultural books. The books were mostly focused on crops and fields because my family mostly works on the farms. Half of my childhood was spent in India, therefore, I was read books that had to do with farming so I could relate it to my real life. In all, residents in Punjab mostly make money through farming. I enjoyed reading about fields, and animals as I was around them a lot during childhood. In the book, Multicultural Children's literature talks about fiction and non-fiction. My parents focused on a book which was realistic fiction that focused on the events happening in the real world. My parents read books that told their stories about their life indirectly through reading me field and agriculture books. The purpose of each book was different and was relevant to my life and my parent's life. The book talks about how realistic fiction is to entertain the reader while helping them to understand problems or issues they may encounter in their lives.

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