Intercultural Experience - Culture Essay Example

To complete this assignment I went to a cultural festival in downtown Louisville called the trolley hop - Intercultural Experience introduction. At the trolley hop there were many different cultures and cultural foods. At the trolley hop there is a “flea off market” where you can visit many different booths that are set up and visit the many different food trucks with food from different cultures. There was also a concert going on with a Hispanic music group. Another thing you can do at the trolley hop is visit the many different art galleries on market street.

At the trolley hop you can interact with people from many different cultures such as black, Asian, Hispanic, and Caucasian. The purpose of the Trolley hop is to help different cultures interact with each other and share a common medium which in this case is art. At the trolley hop you can see how the different cultures perceive things differently. For example one culture may see the passion and meaning in a piece of art whereas another culture may see the piece of art as meaningless. Another example is in America if we were to see a painting with nudity we would perceive it as inappropriate whereas in most European countries nudity in art isn’t perceived as inappropriate but more as a norm in their culture.

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I interviewed a Hispanic woman, I met at the trolley hop, about her culture and how its different from the other cultures in America. I first asked her how about the different languages in her culture, she said, that most people in her culture speak Spanish but there is no national language of Mexico. I then asked her what religions are a part of her culture and she said, most Mexicans identify themselves as Catholics but there is also some protestants, Muslims, and Jews. After talking to her about the religions in her culture I asked her if she could tell me about what they value in her culture, she told me of how they have high value on family and how Hispanic families are usually large. She said that Hispanic families also love hosting parties and how their homes play a large part in Hispanic life. I also learned that Hispanic families are usually quite traditional in the way that the father is the authority figure and the women work in the home. I also asked her about the music in her culture and she said that the most common type of music in her culture is a style of folk music called Mariachi. For my final question I asked her what different holidays are celebrated in her culture and she replied by telling me of how they celebrate “The feast of our lady Guadalupe ” which is celebrated on December 12th. She said that it is a major holiday in Hispanic culture, and it is celebrating the appearance of Virgin Mary. They also celebrate a their independence day on September 16th which was when they got there independence from Spain.

There are many differences between the Hispanic culture and the American culture. The differences between the language spoken in the American culture and Hispanic culture is in the American culture the most spoken language is English while in the Hispanic culture the most spoken language is Spanish otherwise known to those of the culture as Espanol Mexicano, meaning Mexican Spanish. When it comes to values there are some differences between the Hispanic culture and the American culture, the differences are in American culture Americans give a lot of importance to their profession rather than their family. And in the American culture children are brought up to be more independent with less guidance from their parents. While in the Hispanic culture, Family comes first always and their profession comes second. In the Hispanic culture men work to earn money and women take care of the home and household chores. Children are not brought up to be independent in Hispanic families and instead are brought up with a lot of care and guidance from their parents.

Some other differences between the American and Hispanic culture are the difference between religion in the Hispanic and American cultures is in the Hispanic culture most people are Catholics. And religion plays a very strong role in Hispanic lives. And all Hispanic festivals are centered around religion. In the American culture every citizen has equal rights to follow the religion they would like to follow. Most people in the American culture are Christians or roman Catholics. The difference between the music in the Hispanic and American cultures are in the Hispanic culture they mainly have Mariachi style which is a variety of folk music. While in the American Culture some popular genres include pop, jazz, country, and rap. And the American music industry is the largest in the world.

Some similarities between the American and Hispanic culture are In the American culture religion is a everyday part of American life while in the Hispanic culture religion is also a part ion everyday Hispanic lives. Another similarity between the American and Hispanic culture is when it comes to cuisine in the American culture it depends on your standard of living and what region you live in on what type of food you eat. This is similar to the Hispanic culture because the type of cuisine you eat depends on your standard of living and what part of Mexico you were brought up in. The similarities in holidays celebrated in the Hispanic and American culture are in the Hispanic culture they celebrate a holiday called “The Feast of Our Lady Guadalupe” which celebrates the appearance of Virgin Mary. In the American culture a similar holiday is celebrated called “Christmas” which is celebrating the birth of Christ.

When it comes to Hofstede’s cultural values there are many similarities and differences between the Hispanic and American culture. A difference between the Hispanic and American culture is that the Hispanic culture is more of an collectivistic culture meaning that they place a greater emphasis on family and loyalty to their family then on the needs of the individual. While the American culture is more of an individualistic culture meaning they place more emphasis on individuality and responsibility for oneself rather than family. A similarity between the Hispanic and American culture is that both cultures are low context cultures meaning that people are expected to be direct and say what they mean . And both cultures value expressing yourself. Another similarity between the American and Hispanic culture is they are both High-Power distance cultures meaning they both have power concentrated in a few people such as a political party. For example America has a President and so does Mexico. Both Hispanic and American cultures are also Masculine cultures meaning that people tend to value traditionally masculine values such as ambition, and achievement. But according to Hofstadter’s research, The American Culture values masculine values but not as strongly as the Hispanic culture. When it comes to time, American Culture is a Monochronic culture meaning people of the american culture treat time as a commodity. And believe in saving time,investing time, spending time, filling time, and wasting time. While the Hispanic culture is a polychronic culture meaning they perceive time as more fluid and less structured. Instead of treating time as a commodity that must be managed properly to avoid being wasted, they perceive time more like a never ending river flowing into the future.

My reaction to what I heard, saw, and experienced is I never really thought about the differences between cultures. And this experience made me realize how different we all really are. And that depending on what culture we are from makes us the people we are. I learned that in the Hispanic culture they value family more over their profession while in American culture we are more about our professions then giving our attention to our family. I enjoy learning about other cultures and learning how they are different from the American culture I was brought up in.

Citations

Bidisha Mukherjee. (2013, February 18). Difference between Mexican and American Culture. ://www.buzzle.com/articles/difference-in-mexican-and-american-culture.html

Rich Kimura. (2006, December 27). Hispanic and American Cultural Differences Observed. http://ezinearticles.com/?Hispanic-and-American-Cultural-Differences-Observed&id=397021

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