Characters are often personifications of their setting. In other words, characters can become embodiments of a particular time or place. Examples of this include Jane Austen's characters representing the high class English women of the Regency era or Mark Twain's embodiment of the American South through Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. Hell, even The Jersey Shore cast embodies a specific culture and place.
Write a story in which the main character is a living personification of a certain setting.
To do this, you're going to have truly know a place. That's the reason why these types of characters are normally drawn from the author's own life. For example, I would probably try to embody the Region (the southern Chicago suburbs in Indiana) as a character, since that's where I grew up. It's the place and culture I know best.