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Too British, Too American, Too African: The Struggle To Define My Culture

Growing up as a girl of Nigerian descent, I heard so much about culture. This vague word covered everything from curtseying when giving my parents food, to not risking my life by giving them anything using my left hand. I never really questioned it because I was disciplined into submission which meant no questions asked. Now that I’m 30, finding my voice and rebellious, I often question, what is culture anyway?

I was born in London, moved to Miami when I was seven and moved back to London when I was 17. At 21, I then moved to Nigeria. Having moved around so much, I found that I seriously struggled to find a cultural identity. It felt like I was so eclectic that I didn’t identify with any one culture, while at the same time I could see a piece of me in all of them. Paradoxical, I know. 

The best definition for culture I found was: “The ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.” But I identify with so many different ideas, customs and social behaviours. I feel like culture can be in the food I eat, the lexicon I use, or the way I communicate, and all of these things have been greatly influenced by different communities.