I’ve been thinking about culture. The way it exists all around us, the way it impacts us in a million details, the way it makes us who we are really.
Could it be argued that culture is the third determining factor on what defines us as individuals? Genes, environment and also culture?
Our genes don’t change, our environment surrounds us externally and can thus be changed, and culture, well culture would seem to come from underneath, from your roots, and to be flowing up inside you, becoming part of your inner geist, of your spirit and soul.
Genes are already set from birth, so those will have differentiated and defined you from others always and in all places. They can therefore be argued to be more static. Not that what is given with genes is always easy to deal with, but it is what it is.
The environment changes and affects you to different extents depending on how big the difference between the environments you spend time in is, and in some cases it will be tougher to adapt and in some cases easier. But as humans, we do adapt, it is in our DNA to adapt to the environment, whether it is a difference between desert and city life or just between neighboring cities, we adapt, it is survival instinct. Therefore it can be argued that the environment will for sure be a hurdle to adjust to or overcome when changed, especially initially, but in the end, it is a matter of time before getting used to a new climate, the way that things look different or have other names. But you will get used to it, just liking it to a higher or lesser extent.
The difference with culture is that because it stems from within you, and is part of your being and soul, it is difficult to separate and to define, and hence difficult to know what is what, or if the two parts are even separable?
In this increasingly transient world, with migration streams, both desired and undesired ones, rising, it is reasonable to pin point culture as a determining factor for integration. It may even be argued that there exists a positive and a negative form of migration, one that is aspirational and one that is looked down upon.
My migration was a desired one and I dare say an aspirational one, not only in my eyes. Maybe because I moved from an affluent, safe country? Is that what makes this situation so different than that of the hundreds and thousands others that flee from injustices and war and are welcomed in their new countries by misbelief?
Maybe so I don’t know. But I do know it is a fact that my move is something positive and I am welcomed. And what I realize with every day is that it is not until you are in the middle of the new that you are confronted with which parts of you that seem to come from within, that are part of your culture.