The Beauty of Being Different

The Beauty of Being Different

Imagine a celebration with foods of all kinds. The walls are all decorated with red lanterns and people are smiling ear to ear while talking to some close friends and family. Isn’t it magical? This is a holiday in the Chinese culture called Chinese New Year. Different holidays and cultures are all very diverse and we can learn something new about each one.

When people ask me what my favorite Chinese tradition is, I would say that I love the different Chinese holidays. Each holiday teaches me something different. Whether it is a new kind of food, or it is Chinese history. For example, when I first experienced Chinese New Year, I learned that it is based on a legend of a monster. It was said that a monster named Nian would attack villagers at the beginning of each new year. The monster was afraid of loud noises, bright lights and the color red, so they used those things to chase the beast away.

Similarly, at my first Chinese New Year celebration, I got to eat dumplings and glutinous rice cake. Most people would probably think that they are just food, but in the Chinese culture they all represent something. Dumplings represent wealth; whereas, the glutinous rice cake represents a higher income. I am still in awe each time I learn more information behind the Chinese holidays and the foods.

Most of my friends are all a part of different cultures, therefore I often learn something new about each one. By exploring new things from different cultures, I have learned to see things from different perspectives. In 4th grade, my teacher asked us to share something about each of our individual cultures and each time I learned something new. I learned parts of other students’ self-identities and I shared parts of mine. I was able to better understand who they are as people. Also, during morning meetings, we sometimes said greetings in different languages. By the time the morning meeting had ended, I learned about three new types of greetings! Each time I learned a new greeting I feel the urge to explore and understand the culture more. It makes me wonder about this language, what are the letters in their alphabet? How to pronounce the words?

What makes me stronger? My culture. I am more confident in who I am because of it. I am proud of the history behind my culture. I am also more curious because I will always be able to learn something new from my culture. Whether it is a new type of food, or it is a new word, I will never be able to stop learning. When we have a hard math problem, we always try to solve it using one method, but if we tried using a different method, it could be so much easier. Because of my culture I am able to see things in more perspectives than one, and I can solve challenges in a different way than how my peers had.

Even though many of my friends have different backgrounds, that only makes us stronger as a group. We can share things from each of our cultures, and learn new things about each one. My culture might make me who I am as an individual, but diversity is what brings our community together, and unites us.

DISCLAIMER: The content of this essay does not represent the views of the contest organizer CAPA NOVA.
12 thoughts on “The Beauty of Being Different”
  1. It touches my heart when I read this one. I was shocked to know that Sally is only elementary student. At her age, she already identified the power of unity, the strength of appreciating the diversity. She teaches adults of the power and strength of the unity by introducing the culture and food and then tells us the story of each one. I really enjoy her story when reading it. And I really appreciate that being a young kid at Sally’s age, she is willing to learn from different prospects and being open minded. That’s what we need for our future generations.

  2. I loved your article. As a member of the Asian community, I can relate to many of these things. Your writing flowed well, and you were able to hook my attention with your strong word choice. Good job!

  3. Readable, compelling and totally enlightening .I love your thoughts and writing.The ideas in it has the potential to transform the reality to a better future.You are a treasure.I also saw your talent and effort behind your article .Writing well doesn’t come overnight.Stick to it hard!Hope to read more from you.

  4. Sally’s essay is beautiful earning my five-star(*****) rating!

    As an ABC (American Born Chinese), she appreciates Chinese culture and other cultures. Her description of the origin of the Chinese New Year is informational. Her learning greetings in different languages demonstrates her open-mindedness. Her being an ABC with a deeper understanding of Chinese culture will strengthen her in her future endeavors. Great job!

  5. Wow!It is a heart- touched essay. Around its theme, the essay was organized smoothly and all main ideas were clearly. Nice done![强][玫瑰]

  6. So glad to see you cherish and embrace your heritage culture, which will make you stronger and unique, Will Done

  7. Good job Sally, this was a great read. I’m very impressed with your writing skill and think you are well above the average for your grade. Great word use of vocabulary and overall flow of the essay! Good luck in the competition!

  8. An astute piece of writing! Sally is a mature thinker which shows through in her writing.
    Great job!

  9. Absolutely loved reading this. This reminds me of my own family traditions. I honestly reacted the same way, learning about Nian, or eating delicious Chinese snacks at Lunar New Year. I love the aspect of how different cultures coming together make each other and each individual stronger, independently and together. Love to see you proud of your heritage! Always keen to learn more about our culture!

  10. I am so proud of you,Sally. You’re not afraid to speak your mind ,so brave, so determined .Your story touches me. I couldn’t agree more with your article. I can’t believe this is just a fifth grade kid’s essay. It’s so well written.I am so proud of you !

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