My Cultural Identity : The Cayman Islands

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My Cultural Identity I was born and raised in the Cayman Islands. Although my home is located in the Caribbean, which in itself has a specific culture, I more closely identify with the unique aspects of the Caymanian culture. Culture is defined by Juang and Matsumoto (2011) as, “a unique meaning and information system, shared by a group and transmitted across generations, that allows the group to meet basic needs of survival, pursue happiness and well-being, and derive meaning from life” (p. 15). My family and community have taught me the traditional values and beliefs of the Caymanian culture. At home, all of the facets of my culture merge together and are expressed openly, but when I am in another country, I find myself changing this expression. Different aspects of my culture have had lasting effects on my self- concept and behavior. Juang and Matsumoto (2011) have described a value dimension of culture emphasized by Geert Hofstede known as individualism versus collectivism as, “the degree to which cultures will encourage… the tendency for people to look after themselves and their immediate family only, or… for people to belong to ingroups that are supposed to look after its members in exchange for loyalty” (p. 23). The Caymanian culture is quite collectivistic as it emphasizes looking out for one another and encourages group effort. It values having strong relationships with family members, which includes maintaining a large extended family network. This cultural

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