If you’d like to submit a cross cultural experience, please reblog this post just like you were going to reblog a journal post. DON’T MIX THESE UP! This is for CROSS CULTURAL EXPERIENCES ONLY!
Cross Cultural Experience
For my Cross Cultural Experience, I spent my time with a good friend of mine who is also in A.F., Shial Shah. During our time together, we went to a pot luck, a party or reunion where many of Shial’s relatives and friends spend time together. I noticed that there are a lot of differences (culture-wise), but also many similarities.
On May 20th, 2012 I spent a lot of time (5 hours) with Shial, at his house and at the pot luck. When I was at Shial’s house, I noticed the feeling of the environment was different. Of course on the outside, the house is looks and is normal. But on the inside many of the details are different from my house. First, the smell was different, the smell of Shial’s house has many scents of spices and a really faint some sort of flower. There were many paintings and other very beautiful visuals that makes me feel like I’m in a house in India. During the time, I asked him many questions relating to his culture and his life. I was really surprised in what I learned! Our cultures had many similarities.
First off, Shail’s household consists of his parents, an eight year old sister, and him. There aren’t any major rules in the house, but the common ones like no shouting, keeping a clean environment, and of course respect everyone. They usually have dinner together, unless one goes out and have plenty of conversations about their day. After dinner, they would have a “Family Time”, where they spend time together doing an activity of some sort. This all came to me as a really interesting way to spend a day. I have many of the same rules in my house. But in my household, we usually finish dinner and our conversations and go back to our own little bubble. We do not really spend time together as a family, unless there is a special event or something extraordinary.
When we arrived at the pot luck, there were many greetings and warm welcomings, which it didn’t make me feel like an outsider. I felt like part of the family. There were many foods that I have never seen before and right now I still cannot pronounce their names. Some of the foods were Panner Tikha, Palak Paneer, Puloaw, etc. After the food, we did many activities that involved everybody. We talked in a circle, talk about different cultures and different people, and of course, we played many sports like normal people. After, I asked Shail about his culture and what makes it such a great culture. He had many answers, but one that I really liked and remembered was that he said,” We celebrate many holidays with big festivals and we always try to relate things to the outside world”. I will always remember that day and treasure the memory of the pot luck with Shail.
I have learned many things that day and connected Shail’s culture with mine. There were many differences, but also many similarities. We both celebrate American holidays like, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and many others. The differences aren’t really by culture, but by our families’ personalities. My household is more lax about spending time with the family and giving personal space to each other as much as possible. Shail’s household share a lot more interactions. Cultures many be different, but people always have their similarities.