Cultural Observations From A Somalian-American

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Did you ever know that every country has different cultural values and norms that may cause misunderstanding among cultures around the globe? Of course, I didn’t really know that till I migrated from my country to the USA. A long time ago, I believed that the world was filled with homogenous societies which are based upon one culture only and that culture must be my own culture which I must follow as the ethnocentric standard to all other nations in the world. But later, I had experienced living in multi cultural communities and different continents around the globe, such as Africa and Asia, where getting involved in other people’s lives is very common. As a result of my experience, I have realized that American cultural values have less involvement than other countries. I got a real shock my first time in the United States when I saw the American values of individualism, privacy and freedom.

When I came to the United States at first, it was very difficult for me to understand the American value of individualism. One day, I went shopping with my cousin at the mall in Bay Park Square, WI. Inside the mall, I saw a group of young teenagers who were arguing near the cinema entrance, among them was a girl who was angry at one guy, and I could barely stop my self from getting involved in the situation. Finally, I decided to get involved in the case, so I moved immediately close toward the fighting couple in order to get involved in the situation. I wanted to help the girl that was yelling at the other guy. However, my cousin pushed me back and held my hands telling me to stay out of it. Later on, my cousin advised me personally, and she explained to me the American cultural value of individualism. After that I compared the benefits and...

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... than the interest of the individual. However, it’s as a rule simply prepared on the belief that the community exists for the benefit of the individuals who play a part in it, thus the most excellent way to provide the interests of the individual is through the interest of the community. For instance, the society is like hands that are joined together tightly with community activities who share common responsibility and regulations upon each other. As I have experienced both of these cultures, it seems to me that they both are full of life experiences with good and down sides, and those different cultures are like my right and left hands, and both hands are very useful. In life, each of those cultural styles has their own values and norms of leadership and management in the community, and as a Somalian-American citizen, I will use both styles to manage my life here.

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