Growing up in America, I faced the burden that is losing my culture.
I lost my culture when I stopped calling my mother in public, because I didn't want people to stare as foreign words slipped from my tongue.
I lost my culture when I began saying nothing while people claimed they "could never visit a dangerous place" like the one my family is from.
I lost my culture when I was no longer proud of the curls that sprung from my head after I showered.
I lost my culture when I began sitting silently as people mocked the accents of immigrants, people that gave up everything to come here.
I lost my culture when I no longer followed the religious traditions that I had once held so closely to my heart.
These were the first signals of losing my culture.
I didn't think it mattered; it seemed much better to fit in as an American than to fit in with a culture that no longer surrounded me.
In a twist of events, it did matter.