So I was accused the other day of not having any culture. I’m a good 10+ years younger than most of the other people I work with, and they were really surprised to hear that I don’t know about the things they grew up with.

I was really hurt when I was accused of not having any culture, and I responded at the time by point out that I lived in cornfields the past four years. Now I regret saying that: there’s nothing about going to Taylor that prevents me from experiencing culture. What they were more accusing me was not having THEIR culture, which was a generation before me.

At the time, I felt like I had just been born and that I didn’t know anything about the world. But it’s more that my culture is very different from most people, because I have a mixture of Peruvian and American and Christian.

I was born in the 80s, and lived in the States. I had Hello Kitty dolls and watched Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and Sesame Street. I loved Muppet Babies the most. I wasn’t allowed to watch Saved By the Bell. I had a Sesame Street lunchbox in first grade and my favorite doll was (and is) a Cabbage Patch. I loved my Lite Brite and my Spirograph. In second grade, our favorite TV show was Square One. I moved to Peru in 1992. I still watched some American TV, but I didn’t have US cable channels. My favorite cartoons were Chip and Dale, and Aladdin. I also liked Tale Spin. I was into Psalty tapes and McGee and Me. My favorite sitcom was Full House, and I watched Diagnosis Murder. I didn’t watch many movies except for Disney cartoons and whatever we received in the mail from the States – like Homeward Bound. I played in the park with my Peruvian friends and played a lot of imagination games – with Barbies and Little People. I liked these little pacifier things that I don’t know the name of, and Slam books. I wanted to get a hairband with what looked like real hair on it, but of course they didn’t sell any with red hair. We played MASH and another similar game with lines and Xs and Os. I was obsessed with books, and was always writing a story. I played Chip’s Challenge and Ski and Writer Rabbit on the computer.

I got a shock in 7th grade when I moved back to the States, but I had culture then too. Dr. Pepper was the cool thing to drink, and peaches were all the hit because of the song. We liked the song “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” and saw movies like Twister and Flipper. I moved back to Peru. I had culture then, too. I listened to Christian music – D.C. Talk, Newsboys, Point of Grace, Jars of Clay. I listened to the radio and heard Peruvian music like Shakira and Enrique Iglesias and of course, Ricky Martin. Christina Aguilera, NSync, Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears were all the hit too – especially the first two because they made songs in Spanish. I watched movies like Titanic and Deep Impact, and TV shows like Candid Camera and 7th Heaven.

So I’ve decided that I do have culture; it’s just much different than theirs. I don’t think they realize that a new generation is entering the work force. I feel a little bit lonely, because there isn’t anyone my age. When they’re reminiscing about their TV shows, I feel a little left out because I don’t know what they’re talking about. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not culture-less, just a mixture of lots of cultures. And I think I need to say that next time.

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