Cultural Identity

For people around the world, the holiday season plays a crucial role in one’s cultural identity. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are especially celebrated within the United States — but others such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are also frequently celebrated. There’s clearly not one way to be American and such diverse traditions make this country beautiful.

Both sacred and secular practices come to life during these holiday gatherings. Everyone loves waking up to the smell of good food being prepared, gifts being decorated to perfection, and ultimately the warm embrace of friends and family alike. The period between November and January has historically been called “the most wonderful time of the year” for a reason.

However, this time of year can also be perceived as bittersweet for anyone across cultures. Anything from changes in the weather to personal experiences can make the holiday season seem more daunting. The temperature is steadily dropping, the time span of daylight is narrowing, and the loss of loved ones is truly saddening. Other people within one’s personal and professional life are always impacted to some degree.

This year in particular has brought about great change in regards to social justice and the global pandemic. As 2020 draws to a close, nearly 82 million have contracted COVID-19 and almost 2 million have passed away worldwide. In fear of infecting their loved ones, many have become subject to self-isolation where they must find new ways to celebrate valuable traditions.

The holidays serve a very important role in one’s cultural identity, but they will elicit a feeling of nostalgia and yearning more than anything this year. The trauma we share as human beings may remain for years to come — so it’s important that we take care of ourselves as well as others during these trying times.


Source Author: CNN

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