Open Your Eyes: Culture

By Stephanie Cochrane Posted October 22, 2008

Stephanie Cochrane, Managing Editor, Opinions Editor
Stephanie Cochrane, Managing Editor, Opinions Editor

Customs, traditions, and rituals are prevalent in each culture in the world; yet some cultures express themselves in ways that others do not understand. Religious practices and social customs direct the being of many cultures. American culture is led by the drive for economic success while many other cultures around the world follow religious beliefs. Why is it that America does not live predominantly by one religion and other nations do?

India is known as the land of spirituality and philosophy. Hinduism is followed by 80% of Indians; America’s greatest religious majority is the Protestant religion at 52%. Large countries like India can be prosperous and personify unity in religious beliefs. Small countries may not be prosperous yet personify that same religious unity. It is a sink or swim way of life. Widespread religious devotion may breed success yet it may breed failure. America has grown into a system of success different than any other. Diversity is America’s middle name; we are called the Melting Pot for a reason.

Because Americans emigrated from nations all over the world, religious unity will never exist. We are not a nation of Hindus working together toward spiritual transmigration of the soul; we are a nation of everyone working toward a better future. Each person in the United States would have a different definition for what they think is a better future. Some may say they believe a better future is peace, others may say prosperity. America is a religious nation; it is not a nation of one religion.

America will never live by one religion and that should not be taken as an inauspicious notion. It is enticing that Americans can learn from each other’s beliefs and work together to blend them into something unique; that is why so many people leave their homelands for ours. This country does not need one dominant religion to be united; it is an always-changing perfect blend of similarly different visionaries.

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