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Culture brands who you are...

Generally, where people come from has a lot of impact on identifying their source of origin and their identity as human beings too

Culture is defined as the shared patterns of behaviours, values, ways of thinking, interactions and understandings that have been learned through a process of socialisation among certain groups of people.

In return, all these and some other principles play a key role in shaping the identity and personality of people. These shared patterns are what make individuals living in one society differ from others of a different cultural background. Sometimes, it also makes individuals living in the same community have different personal identities. Probably personal beliefs contribute to forming one’s character!

However, culture stands as the main driving force in shaping individuals’ identity. Generally, where people come from has a lot of impact on identifying their source of origin and their identity as human beings too. In fact, there are many other influences that serve shaping individuals, but it all starts with the culture. It is from this point that humans build their identity in the lives that they have. In order to start this journey of self-discovering, people need a place to begin with; a home where they start as children analysing everyone they meet and judging every event that they comes across and takes place in life.

As people grow up, the attachment to their culture and homeland increases too. Social interactions and communications with others play a significant role in enabling humans to make sense of their beliefs. Such beliefs are actually an outcome of what they learn from the religions that clearly set the path for them to follow and embrace. However, culture is biggest motivation behind people's actions, from the very beginning, that controls their behaviours and set the rules by which they organise their life and socialise.

On the other hand, language plays a significant role in the shaping of identity sometimes. Other than helping people communicate and interact with one another, it also builds in them a feeling of belonging as individuals to their respective groups.

A case in a point, when you are travelling or maybe living abroad and accidentaly you come across someone who speaks your language, you immediately get the feeling that this person belongs to you and as if he/she is a member of your family. Here comes the role of a language in relating to one’s identity. As the saying goes, “Birds of the same feather flock together”.

Yet, personal identity is also affected by other factors that in return make individuals in the same culture differ from their fellow citizens. Two factors can be considered as important in shaping personal identity: social environment and life experience. Social environment can be seen in the difference of life styles of rich and poor people in the same society. The rich will have a more relaxed life and personality, whereas the poor struggle for their living. Accordingly, the behaviour and expectations of a wealthy person will mostly differ from those of a poor one.

This trend builds up in generations of rich and poor families and impact personal identity in the long run. The rich young for instance, supported by soundly founded families and secured future, feel more confident in life, while the other suffers the opposite feeling. Life experience also contributes to the identity structure. As an example, people who live in war zones develop an aggressive personality, unlike others of the same culture who have never been in such places or situations. For sure, each one will have a different personality and differently built identity.

It is true that individuals in the same society absorb culture differently; something that is attributed to reasons like social environment, life experience and family background to which one belongs to, but still culture pauses as the major reference to all. Culture is rooted in one’s identity and the foundation of who s/he is. It is something that cannot be changed or ignored!

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