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The Cultural Perception of Time in My Own Country

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    In my own country, the cultural perception of time is different from U.S., especially the punctuality concept, and the pace of life. In my country, when you have a meeting at 10:00AM, this means that you could be there at 10:00AM, or even you can come a bit late such as 10:10AM, 10:15AM, … This will be no problem, the late is acceptable and everyone understands about it. They will wait for you and other people until everyone comes to the meeting, and then the meeting will be started right after that. But it is not the same in the U.S. in which the punctuality is very important.

    If you have a meeting at a specified time, this will be implied that you have to come to the meeting before the specified time. For example, if the meeting starts at 9:00AM, then you must be there in the meeting at 8:55AM or earlier. At the first time, when I came to the U.S., I still kept in mind the punctuality concept of my own country because I thought that there was not so much difference between American’s punctuality concept and Vietnamese’s punctuality concept. But I was wrong, this misunderstanding led me to miss some appointments and interviews.

    As a result of that, I have learned that in the U.S. we should always come earlier before the specified time. Every culture does not always have the same punctuality concept, so it may be wrong when we apply the punctuality concept of our country to other countries. It may lead us to a misunderstanding about the punctuality concept, therefore we will feel difficult to adapt to live in the new country at the beginning of the time. Hence, It is better if we know about the cultural time value of the country where we will arrive, more or less this will help us not be surprised if there is any difference, then we can prepare ourselves for any changes.

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