It has long been known that there are many advantages to being bicultural such as having a greater number of social networks, being aware of cultural differences, taking part in the life of two or more cultures, being an intermediary between cultures, and so on. Recent research shows that biculturals are also characterized by greater creativity and professional success.
One advantage of being bicultural may be the ability to take the “best” of both cultures. A 2003 study showed that pregnant Mexican-American women who were more “selectively bicultural” – adopting specific health-related beliefs and practices from both cultures – were less stressed overall.
If that’s not enough, here’s one more benefit of being bicultural: creativity. Research published in 2012 found that people who identified with both their “home” and their “host” cultures scored higher on several measures of creativity compared with those who were were either assimilated to or separated from their host culture.
My dearest Shosh and Jaialai:
It always make me sad when I see people deny who they are. I cannot help but think they must carry such shame of themselves that it forces them to deny their own heritage. Your bi-racial cousins, for example, appear to have deleted from their social media almost all traces of their dad’s side of the family. Unfortunately, one but has to look at them and know they are bi-racial.
Don’t be like that. Embrace who you are. You come from good stock and are well-raised. Our culture is thousands of years old, and your forebears had held high posts within the country. We now have also gained a measure of success in America.
You are the product of all that history and culture. You now have the benefit of picking the best from each culture and being better than each. Further, as the above graphics demonstrate, being bilingual gives you concrete benefits that give you advantages today and in the days ahead.
Embrace your special gifts. Don’t ever deny who you are.
All my love, always,