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Cultural Adjustment


"An analysis of cultural shocks"
Coming to America was one of my dreams, so I started
working on it and after completing collage, I received the
visa for the States and bought the ticket to come to
America. I was a little bit confused because I had been
hearing about America since my childhood. There is a huge
cultural difference between my society and the modern
society of the States, and because of these differences, my
friends and I faced some problems after coming here. These
problems are commonly called cultural shocks. By analyzing
the differences between America and my own country of
Pakistan, in the areas of gender roles, family, marriage
and celebrations, one can see how cultural shocks occur.
Since my birth, I have been living in a society where the
men and women are not all to interact with each other as
over here. It is one of the biggest differences in my
culture and the culture here. There are usually separate
classes for girls and boys in my society, but over here,
there is no concept of this. In addition, I know you will
surprise to earn that having a boyfriend for a girl or a
girlfriend for a boy is a difficult achievement.
In my society there is a joint family system, the children
live together with their parents whether they are under 18
or not. Over here, there is a concept of "individualism".
Every one has an individual life, making their own
decisions for every thing. Here, a person over 18 living
with his parents is considered an immature person. In my
culture, a person not living with his parents doesn't have
a respectable place in the society, because it is our
social and religious custom to take care of our parents.
Divorce is common here, but in my society it's not good to
even think about it. People are divorced, but not as
commonly as over here. For example, among every 100 married
people, perhaps just one is divorced, but over here out of
hundred, about fifty are divorced or separated. Also, some
couples live together without a legal marriage.
One day, I went to a wedding ceremony with my uncle .It was
one of his friends' weddings. I just sat there, wondering
when the people would sing songs and when the lunch would
start, but after kissing each other, my uncle's friend and
his wife went on a long drive in their car with a poster on
the back saying, "Just got married". It was really
surprising for me to attend a wedding like this, because in
my culture, the wedding ceremony is for five to six days.
We sing songs for the couple, eat together with the whole
family, buy new clothes for the ceremony and invite all our
relatives and friends. I remember in my brothers wedding
there were about a thousand people.
Here, for celebrating a happy occasion, people just usually
go to clubs, drink, dance and go home late night and sleep.
In my culture, it's totally different. To celebrate an
occasion, the whole family sits together, talks, or goes to
any good restaurant, but usually we cook our food by our
self. The ladies take over the kitchen, while men sit and
talk or watch any news channel. Boys make a separate group
and watch a movie or talk on any interesting topic. So we
usually just talk, talk and talk, and that's the way we
enjoy ourselves. We do have a concept that time is money,
so we don't waste our time in useless things.
As I mention earlier, both the nations have a lot of
cultural differences. I really like some differences and
some I don't. But I believe that with an open mind and a
friendly attitude, I will be able to make friends, get
accustomed to the values, believes and behaviors of the new
culture and perhaps get to enjoy my life in the states and
eventually find ways of attaining the dream, to be an
engineer, as I took my first step on the American soil. At
the end I would like to say, " The nation who cannot keep
its own culture will last forever".


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