The United States Most of the people in America are actually immigrants. In 2007, immigrants in the United States reached 37. 9 million (Center for Immigration Studies, 2007). It is therefore obvious that everyone has their own cultural background aside from that of America’s own culture. This contributes to a person’s uniqueness, as well as to the diversity of the people in America. There are a lot of different reasons why people choose to immigrate to America but the main reason is “living the American dream. ” The United States is seen by many as a place to start a new life. They believe that America brings endless opportunities. It is also a place where every person is free. They are not limited by their roots’ culture and traditions. Of course, not all finds these things in America. For the lucky ones, they find their lives getting better. They do not have regrets about coming to America. They learn about the new surroundings and adapt to the country’s culture and traditions without difficulty. This is probably the best reason to stay in the United States; to learn more and be able to explore more of yourself by adapting another culture and tradition. The American culture is very interesting. It is known as the “melting pot” of all nationalities because one can find almost all types of nationalities here. Individualism plays a major role in everyone’s lives. It sets them apart from everyone else. Because of these reasons, it seems hard to set a definite culture and tradition for the American people. Everyone has their own thing to do and respects everyone else’s businesses. At home, they usually have their own schedules of who will do the chores for the day or week. Family members are not known to be close with each other. As well, children are not required to share things with their parents. At school, Americans do not practice calling their teachers as sir or madame. They are not obliged to standing up when a teacher enters or exits the room. They work they way to graduation by their own with minimal supervision from the teachers. Also, young people are not forced to attend college because many jobs are available even to those who do not finish a higher education. People are more liberal in this country. Fame, money, and glamor are considered important. The media and Hollywood plays a great role in shaping the minds of the young adults. Violence, sex, and crimes are rampant. On a brighter note, people are more openminded. They are adventurous and are willing to try out new things. The world of sports, as in basketball, baseball, and football, is also popular. Americans spend a great deal of money just to watch a good game. They also love celebrations and holidays. One of the main holidays they commemorate is the Fourth of July, which is their independence day. Although religion and spirituality is not very focused on, most Americans are Protestants with Roman Catholic only second in place (CIA: The World Fact Book, 2008). There are also some who do not belong to any religious groups. Another interesting thing about the culture of the American people is how they love eating. They have a passion for food. Cooking schools and cooking shows are everywhere. A person can find a dining place in every street. The diversity of the food is also interesting because it shows just how many nationalities are there in the country. One is not limited on what to eat and the places to eat because of the abundance of restaurants, cuisines, diners, and fast foods everywhere. On the other hand, Japan can be considered to have one of the richest cultures in the world. They have cultures and traditions that sets them aside from their neighboring Asian countries. One of the different things that the Japanese people can boast about is the language, which is Japanese. Although this is their primary language, English is also taught in school. At home, they have traditional Japanese furniture and shoes are left outside the house to avoid damage to the floor. Grandparents usually stay with the family instead of living in nursing homes. The Japanese are also famous for their tea ceremony called Chanoyu. It is believed to bring harmony (Sosnoski, 1996). They also celebrate their holidays in a festival way. Some of their holidays include New Year (shogatsu), Coming of Age (seijin no hi), Spring Eqinox Day (shunbun no hi), and Constitution Day (kenpo kinenbi). With regard to religion, most Japanese practice Buddhism, which was first introduced in 552 (Murthy, 1989). As well, Japan is known for their traditional dress called Kimono, geisha, and public baths. These are only some of Japanese’s culture and traditions. Indeed, it can be said that they are very rich in this area. These similarities and differences of the two countries do not really affect my way of life because I have already accepted them as my past and present. I do not limit myself to one cultural background because then, I will lose my individualism. One just have to accept these similarities and differences for it not to have an affect on their life. My cultural background does not really affect the American way of life because our number are only few considered to other groups. I think that the main contribution of the Japanese culture to that of the American’s is the Japanese food and cuisine, which is very popular among Americans. Learning about my own culture is not at all hard because it is still practiced at home with my family. Also, there are many source available for me to study about Japan including books and the Internet although I am in the United States. I make sure that I learn something new about Japan every now and then. In this way, I do not lose my identity as a Japanese though I was born and raised in America. Immigrants are able to preserve their own culture and customs while living an American life by speaking their native languages or practicing their traditions at home (Yoshinaga, Mitsuaki, & Roberts, 2000). As an adult, I have not developed a new culture. I want to believe that I am American, though I have a Japanese background. I live as any person in America does, which means that I am living the American way with regard to the customs, beliefs, and traditions. I believe that this is not hard as long as a person knows who he or she really is and what he or she want to become. I think that it does not matter where a person is born or raised, or even what his or her cultural background is. Identity is important. An individual has to choose what to follow, especially when not in his or her own home land. A person can not help but follow what is there in front of them. Generally, it is hard to fit in another group while practicing the ways of another group. It does not really matter what a person chooses or if the person even chooses just as long as he or she knows what he or she really wants. Being an immigrant can be hard but it also means expanding your knowledge and experience about certain things. It should be seen as a new way to learn more about one’s self. It is important to have an identity but diversity should also be kept in mind. There should be no limit as to what a person should follow or believe. America, as stated, is the melting pot of all cultures and backgrounds. Even those who opt not to believe in anything can be seen here. It is so diverse yet each person is unique. Living in the United States does not mean that a person has to forget about his or her background and beliefs. A person can still practice what he or she has grown to know while living the American way of life. Even if not raised in a Japanese culture, I can still be a Japanese in my own way. I do not have to disregard my background just because I live in America and was born here. It can be admitted that American and Japanese cultures are very different from each other. Although this is the case, I still believe that these things do not take an effect on my life because I have learned to respect each cultures’ differences. This is important to be able to live a peaceful life wherein there is no conflict between the two. I think that as long as I respect that they are not the same and that I can not live both ways, everything will turn out as I want them to be. Not living in your home land does not have to complicated. I can still be a Japanese though I am American in my ways. Being a Japanese is a part of my past while being an American is my present and future. Together, it is who I choose to be.