Being An American Culture Essay

407 Words2 Pages
According to the Pew Research Center, there are approximately 20 million adult American-born children of immigrants living in the United States. I fall into that category. I am the son of two immigrant parents from South Korea. As the only family living in the United States, my roots are not embedded on the grounds below me, but rather extend to different parts of the world. I am an American citizen, but that label did not suit me as a child. Conflicts arose between the culture I was engaged in at school and the culture that my family kept at home.
I typically had gimbap, Korean seaweed rice rolls, while my friends ate ham and cheese sandwiches and chips for lunch and spoke about how much money the tooth fairy gave them the night before, a fantasy figure my parents did not know about. My friends would lightly poke fun at my peculiar lunch and it quickly made me feel like an outcast. Additionally, it was hard for me to find a place in school for the first couple of years, as I spoke poor english. It didn’t help that I only spoke Korean at home. I was embarrassed–embarrassed that I was different; I longed to fit in and be like everyone else. Eating Korean food three times a day, I expressed a distaste to my parents. In frustration, I asked, “Why can’t we eat burgers, chicken tenders, and pizza? I don’t want to eat this anymore.” I later
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I identify myself as Korean-American. I am thankful for the risk that my parents took to come to America, thinking about their future children and trying to give my brother and me a chance at a life filled with more opportunities. Due to their sacrifice, I carry their Korean heritage while making every effort to create my own. I am no longer ashamed of my ethnicity, but grateful and appreciative. As a Korean-American, I have naturally absorbed and internalized American culture, while being influenced by my parents to experience Korean culture as
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