Intercultural Communication Experience
Intercultural Communication can be seen being used by people around the world. There are many different forms that fall into the category of Intercultural Communication. Such an example would be how religion affects a person’s behavior and speech. I decided to expand my education of Intercultural Communication by observing ethnicity and race. All of my life I have grown around various ethnicities and races, but I have not gone in-depth on their behaviors or communication. Ethnicity and race can be understood in different ways by society.
A person’s actions, speech, attire, and communication are greatly affected by ethnicity and race. The way I was going to enlighten myself with how ethnicity and race play roles in Intercultural Communication, I spent the day with a couple of exchange students. My mother-in-law currently has two exchange students from Brazil. Wesley is a male twenty-one years of age and from Osasco, Sao Paulo and Everaldo is another male who is twenty-two from Belem. I wanted to get a feel of their culture by trying some of their country’s food and go to a soccer game in Seattle.
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Soccer is not one of the mainstream of sports in the United States but it is the most popular sport in Brazil. There are not a lot of Brazilian restaurants in the South Puget Sound, however, I was able to find one that we would be able to stop by before the soccer match. On October 21, 2012, we went to brunch at Novihos (no-veel-yos) in Factoria, Washington. This authentic Brazilian steakhouse was an experience because they served the food on swords which the meats are carved right onto your plate.
Wesley and Everaldo were very excited to be in this setting. They said that this type of meal in Brazil is not done very often and really the upper-class are the types of people who are frequently seen at the establishments; providing an example of power. Wesley was really impressed by the quality of the food while Everaldo was taken back of the atmosphere of the restaurant. After we went to the restaurant we headed to Quest Field for the Seattle Sounders game. This is where I felt that a lot of their ethnicity and race were exhibited.
While driving to the game, Wesley and Everaldo were really excited to see how people in the United States conducted themselves at soccer games. They explained that in Brazil, the people took pride in the sport and their love was shown before, during, and after the game. They were surprised when they saw the lines forming outside the stadium, with everyone wearing team colors. Everaldo did not shy away from talking to those in line often letting them know that he was from Brazil and how much he loved soccer. Wesley told me about the crowd was really behaved compared to those in his country.
He compared the scene to a Brazilian game by telling me that it was more of a festival more than a match. It was a time when people in his country could get away from the hardships and be together as equals. Watching them compare the two different environments would be an example of popular culture. This experience helped me understand Intercultural Communication within the Brazilian culture in several ways. There is a social structure that was apparent when Wesley and Everaldo were speaking of the upper-class eating at higher establishments.
There is a class system that is in Brazil because of the mixture of ethnicities in the country but also shows power. Also, the explanation of how people were able to see themselves as equals during soccer events showed the pride they have in their country and their love of a sport. Their experience showed popular culture of how Americans are trying to catch up to the soccer fans in Brazil. This could help other students understand the Brazilian culture because there is such diversity in Brazil that students would be able to develop a deeper understanding of unity and pride.