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Explore the Cultural Patterns
For my project B assignment, I had interviewed a student from Ukraine by the name Natalia who had traveled to the United States during the Travel USA program and summer work. In the interview, it was evident that there were some similarities and differences between the two cultural patterns. For instance, regarding their beliefs, it was apparent that people from Ukraine believe that the United States is a land of opportunity and provided one works hard enough he or she can make it. This is proven by the fact that she confirmed that one of the major reason why she came to the United States was to make some money. Additionally, she was willing to undertake more than one job, and this shows the level of hard work and trust in the American system.
Additionally, a very important observation that was evident in their culture was hard work and the significance of kinship ties. Even while she is far away and has admitted that the United States is the place of her dreams, she often misses her parents and affirms that even if given a chance, she would prefer living in Ukraine. This shows patriotism while at the same time illustrate that Ukrainians believe in Kinship ties, and their happy place is with their families. One of the social norms that were depicted in the film is male chauvinism. The fact that Natalia disclosed her encounters with some of her male customers can show that in Ukraine, there is gender inequality and that she is opposed to policies that undermine the role of women in the society. It is evident that she is a free-thinker who believes in equal opportunity for both men and women. Societies that degrade women are always doomed to failure. Natalia does not wish the same for her mother country and as a result, she openly refutes any behaviors that undermine her.
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Regarding comparing the cultural patterns of Natalia and the general Ukrainian society and that of America. It is evident that there are a lot of similarities and differences. For instance, Americans too believe in equality of both genders. The United States is a land of opportunity, and everybody can make it provided they give their best efforts. This shows that even though there are some challenges that an individual must face, it is possible to overcome them. Additionally, people in the United States also believe in families and relations. In the United States, there are celebrations such as the Thanksgiving Day whose aim is to unite all the American families. Similarly, the social media and technology as a whole have also revolutionized how people relate to each other in the country. It is now easy to communicate with one another irrespective of the geographical distance. This has also led to a further connection between families because parents can know about their children’s status at schools. Colleges or in any other country. Perhaps the most evident social norm that is described that distinguishes the two cultures is on gender and women equality. In the United States, there are various women rights agencies that are tasked with protecting their interests. Since the United States is a capitalist state and hard work is therefore its pillar. In a capitalist society, it is what one contributes to the society that matters and not what he or she receives. For this reason, everyone in the United States is encouraged to find and make use of every opportunity that comes his or her way.
In terms of Natalia’s cultural patterns, that is the beliefs, values, norms and social practices to my principles; there are some similarities and differences, for a start, we all believe in making opportunities for ourselves and exhausting what they have to offer. The same is seen in family values and hard work. However, unlike Natalia, I believe that opportunities are everywhere, and it is not a must that one travels to the United States of any other country. Opportunities are created when there are strong institutions such as the judiciary and security agencies who can tame social vices such as corruption. In creating more opportunities, the focus should thus be on expanding and strengthening such system so as to ensure that there are human rights. Additionally, social practices also differ. While I would comfortably prefer working during the day, Natalia seems to be comfortable at night, and this may be attributed to the fact that she is in need of money. Additionally, another difference comes in terms of what the society expects of us. It is evident that in Ukraine, there is a lot of dependencies because she is working for her family. In my family, we have been taught to be independent and that everybody should work his way to the top. Depending on other people for financial support is highly discouraged because it make some members lazy, and this is not healthy for any relationship. Irrespective of sex, political or religious opinion, everyone should be independent to enjoy the fruits if their labor.
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In terms of exploring the cultural patterns between Natalia or Ukraine community to her actual practice in the United States, it is important first to identify some factors that could have contributed to these variations. For a start, the official language that the people in Ukraine use is known as Ukrainian. Although a significant section of the population still speaks Russian, it is because it was part of the larger USSR. After the split, the government adopted Ukrainian as their national language. In the United States, because of the culture mix-up and integration, there is no official language that is being spoken. Some of the language used here include French, Italian, German and Spanish. In fact following immigration, some people even speak the Ukrainian language. Additionally, in terms of the religion, in the United States, the majority of the people are Christian although there are those who practice Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and some Chinese faiths. Additionally, the Christians are further subdivided into Roman Catholics, Baptist, Protestants, and Lutherans. This is however not the case with Ukraine where there are mostly Christians and Muslims. Since Ukraine was not affected by Immigration as was the case with the United States, it has maintained much of its cultures such as symbolic artifacts and folk tales. In the United States, cultural integration has had a lot of effect on some of the traditional values and practices and as a result, there are no distinct practices that can be traced to some of the older generations.
Upon arrival and his stay in the United States, it is evident that Natalia had to change some aspects of her culture and adapt to the United States systems. The most apparent change was in terms of language change and the use of some symbols and phrases. While in Ukraine she could have comfortably talked in her mother tongue freely, in order to communicate effectively with people in the United States, at least she must be conversant with The English language. Consequently, there are some figurative styles that are accepted in the United States and are not used in Ukraine. In U.S it is usually required that one maintains eye contact while talking to another person to show that he or she is paying attention, In Ukraine, this is interpreted as the lack of respect and young people are thus not expected to look at their elders in the eye. Additionally, she had to depart from her usual self because of the difference in food types. In the United States, many of the readily available foods are usually processed food and organic food are usually quite expensive. Since she did not have enough money, it is likely that she deviated from her usual Ukrainian foods and had to adjust to the new system. The same can be said about Music. One of the music culture in the United States is Hip hop while in Ukrainians are not fans of such music, in the United States, she had to embrace such cultures so as to identify with people and learn more as was her objectives.
In conclusion, it is, therefore, evident that even though it is important for people from different cultures to integrate, it is usually important to understand that there are some cultural differences so as to avoid conflicts. Some of the recommendations and suggestions to these intercultural communication experiences are that prior learning on what to expect is very important. Additionally, one should be open minded and avoid using some facial expressions and body symbols that he or she is not sure of their interpretation by the other cultures. Additionally, the social media should be a very important tool when it comes to establishing long distance relations that will enable one understand about other races, religion and culture. Lastly, culture differs from one place to another, and it is wrong to assume that the other party understands what you are saying. As a result, when visiting a new location, one should always try to talk with as many people as possible.