• Emerging Media

Noor's Cultural Reflection

By Noor Huda '23

America is a melting pot of different cultures. From differences in our language to differences in our religion, our differences and our culture make us part of a diverse and strong community. I am lucky to share some parts of my culture with you. My name is Noor Huda. My first name is Arabic and it translates as "the light of God." My parents named me this as it is one of the 99 names of God in my religion of Islam. Since my parents both immigrated to the United States, I have grown up with a different culture than many Americans. My parents are both from Pakistan, a small country that borders India and Afghanistan. Because of this, I grew up learning to speak Urdu, the national language of Pakistan, as well as Punjabi, the dialect from the region in which they grew up. I was also raised eating a lot of ethnic food that they ate in Pakistan. Instead of typical American dishes like mac and cheese and hamburgers, I grew up eating naan and various curry-based dishes. We often still cook dishes as a family because of the complex ingredients involved. Another aspect of my culture overlaps with my religion. My family and I are practicing Muslims, we believe in one God (Allah), his Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), and The five pillars of Islam. The five pillars of Islam are prayer, charity, fasting, faith, and a pilgrimage to Mecca. When I was younger, my parents read and taught me stories about the prophets in our religion as well as the prayer routines. We still pray every evening as a family. Of the many things that have become a part of me over the course of my life so far, my culture is the one I hold dearest. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share it with you.