Essay Learning about Africans: Experience Dining with a Kenyan Family

Essay Learning about Africans: Experience Dining with a Kenyan Family

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I have always sought to associate and maybe interact with someone from Africa, more so, the Eastern part of Africa. The main country in East Africa is Kenya. Swahili and English are their main modes of instruction in this country. My work friend Kean has family in Kenya. He is a Kenyan pursuing studies in this country. Whenever we get a chance to interact, I am always very keen to ask as many questions about his culture and their way of life back in Africa. A larger portion of the information I have is either second hand information or unverifiable and exaggerated facts.
Recently, all his family visited in America, Kean invited all of our work friends to have dinner with them for his twenty first birthday. Initially, I was reluctant, mainly because I did not have a lot in common with the family and a lot of my coworkers couldn’t make it. However, I overcame my fears and tagged along; this is my experience.
There is a difference between Kean's family and I. The most identifiable difference is the nationalities. While I am American, they are Kenyans, and Africans by extension. However, we practice the same religion, Christianity. Kean's family are loyal Catholics while I am a Methodist. They tend to converse more in Swahili though they speak to me in English. While they do not have an entirely different method of meal preparation, they tend to favor a corn flour meal accompanied by a recipe of kale and fried beef. Kean said that this is their favorite meal. In addition, every member of their family understands the preparation procedure and the recipe perfectly well. While their mode of eating is communal, it is in stark contrast to what I expected. Each member of the family takes the piece of corn meal from the common bowl, bu...


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...he two. This manifested the collectivist nature of the Kenyan society. The Hofstede Centre opines that the Kenyan society encourages loyalty and strong relationships between members (Hofstede, 2011). Kean also explained that the ethnic language played a vital role to many Africans. For instance, according to him, the need to understand the ethnic language was important. He explained that the African culture deemed it disrespectful if an individual happened to be fluent in foreign languages like English, but failed to grasp the fundamentals of their ethnic language.
In conclusion, the African culture as depicted from the perspective of Kean’s family is fundamentally different from the American culture. This is mainly defined by the African’s insistence on the place of ethnicity and family in everyday activities and their regard for collectivism (Hofstede, 2011).

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