Culture Shapes Culture

1059 Words 5 Pages
Culture is defined as the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellence in arts, letters, manners, and scholarly pursuits. Culture informs the way a person views others and the world because everything he or she does is based off culture. Two critical factors that shapes one’s culture are traditions and opinions which are illustrated in “By Any Other Name” and “Two Kinds” written by Santha Rama Rau and Amy Tan respectively. In the novel “By Any Other Name” Santha Rama Rau expresses the idea that culture shapes the way a human views others along with the world through traditions. In her memoir, she includes the traditions: names and food. “Oh, my dears, those are much too hard for me. Suppose we give you pretty English names” (Rau 44). This except from the story suggests that one’s culture changes the way one sees the world because the headmistress was already use to English names that the teacher went and made a correction on the not aged Indian girls’ names to “pretty English names.” The headmistress’ culture changed the way she looked at the young girls from Indian to “English” because that was the norm and what the headmistress was use to in her one of a kind culture. Rau also includes another example of this through food. “The children were all opening packages and sitting down to eat sandwiches. Premila and I were the only ones who had Indian food-thin wheat chapatis, some vegetable curry, and a bottle of buttermilk”

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