The writer W. Somerset Maugham felt that culture creates the person. He wrote,
It is very difficult to know people. For men and women are not only themselves, they are also the region in which they are born, the city apartment or the farm in which they learned to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives' tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. You can know them only if you are them.
Indeed, one's environment, one's nationality, one's race, one's religion--all these form much of one's essence since some of the traits are in the DNA. This is one reason that immigrants who came through Ellis Island moved into the neighborhoods that housed those of their own culture. These people were defined by their religion, the foods that they ate, the types of clothes that they wore, the colors they liked, the values that they had, the customs that they held, the type of hairdos and mustaches or beards that they wore, etc. In short, Greeks were easily identifiable, Italians and Irish, Lithuanians, etc. were all recognizable by their mustaches, clothes, mannerisms. foods, etc.
Now, in America and in some other countries, many nationalities and races are so mixed that these defining notions are not always apparent. And, few cultural patterns and customs are followed since there is no single culture to be defined.