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Personal Narrative: Two Lines Of Heritage

Decent Essays
Two Lines of Heritage
“Whoa…” muttered my friend, as she looked at the bright neon-pink soup before her. Šaltibarščiai, a traditional Lithuanian beet soup and one of the country's most recognizable dishes, is unique, to say the least. My friend continued to stare at the soup in awe, contemplating whether or not to discover its innermost flavors. I nervously watched her, believing that her pending approval was representative of a cultural acceptance for myself. Being pre-adolescent, I wanted nothing more than to fit in with my peers. Little did I know, my Lithuanian and American cultures would not only coexist, but would commingle by combining qualities from each line of heritage.

My journey to self-acceptance included the desire to embrace
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Every evening, I listened to my grandparents’ stories of growing up in rural Lithuania. As children, they would peel potatoes and work for their family’s garden, a comparatively difficult task for a child in today’s standards. Such recollections of my grandparents’ past became lessons for my future. Learning to work hard taught my grandparents, my mother, and myself, that an enjoyable life is one that is earned, not given. Upon my return to California each August, I was ready to implement the hard work inspired by my grandparents into the dreams and goals I had set in America. With each passing year, my association of the two vastly different cultures became a core quality of my identity.

As my friend craned her neck over the bowl and took her first taste of the soup, she jerked forward with excitement, displaying a look of pleasure made only by those introduced to something wonderful. I can not begin to express the relief and the excitement I felt after witnessing my friend not only accept a small part of my culture, but love it. My Lithuanian roots have given me a strong sense of realism while my American heritage has given way to my desire to dream and create a future for
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