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Essay/Term paper: Cultural adjustment

Essay, term paper, research paper:  College Papers

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"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

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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