What Is Bicultural Identity?

What Is Bicultural Identity?

Having a bicultural identity is one of the essential aspects that define bi- or multilingual individuals. Bicultural identity cannot be defined without taking into account the bilingualism. Even when someone begins the process of learning a foreign language and therefore spends time to learn the aspects of that language, they are already starting to reconfigure their personality.

That is why the bicultural identity is not obtained only by having different nationalities, but also by learning a foreign language, since a hybrid, constantly changing identity is born this way. This process of cultural reconfiguration is remarkable, shaping the personality and habits of a person. Language and even identity, to a certain extent, will be in a continuous transformation. This process is accelerated by spending only few weeks in the country whose language we are trying to learn.

Thus, our identity can periodically oscillate between the two cultural systems, hardly achieving a balance in the shaping of our personality. We often notice this in the case of those who leave their country to work elsewhere. Even though is just for one month or two months, when they come back they may pronounce some native language words incorrectly and seem to behave differently. Even though it seems difficult, it is not necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary, bicultural identity can be the key to success if you have to leave your native land for good.

In fact, the identity of people simultaneously exposed to two different cultures will always be changing. It has always been said that, in order to truly understand a language, one must understand its culture and culture cannot be learned, but felt and experienced. Language cannot be culturally understood by given rules and structures, but by the simple act of eating (for example an Italian pizza), drinking traditional drinks, by feeling the way the locals do (for example, to be full of spirits like a Spaniard). All these actions are done without being aware.

It seems that having a bicultural identity is actually a good thing that enriches both our personality and our language skills.

By | 2018-01-05T09:52:43+00:00 January 5th, 2018|Articles|0 Comments