Essay on My Muslim Grandmother's Shock with Canadian Culture

Essay on My Muslim Grandmother's Shock with Canadian Culture

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Imagine getting off the plane for the very first time after living the majority of your life in a Muslim country. The first sight you see is a couple being publicly affectionate. This is my grandmother’s very first encounter on Canadian soil. To any Western this is a social norm, but to an Arab woman it is a cultural shock, which is perceived as uncomfortable at the least. Although she is closed minded, it partially is not her fault, as I have lived with her in Tehran and Dubai –two Muslim cities located in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. (PDA) Public display of affection is forbidden in these two countries. To me public affection is not just “…people making out and touching each other inappropriately…” it is the respect you have for your self and the people around you that is brought about through your identity. (Davis).
In Dubai PDA is legal, however as it is a Muslin city, the only legal activity is holding hands. According to BBC News, a young British man and women were “sentenced to a month in prison” followed by deportation and fines for PDA. If this were any Western country, then such problems would not arise from being publicly affectionate with a partner. It seems that the phrase PDA has a different definition within each society. For the Iranian culture, PDA is not only illegal –it is forbidden. No man or women can be affectionate in public, whether it is holding hands or making eye contact. Research claims, “Islam has determined that any sex-oriented pursuit of happiness and enjoyment in public is to be avoided” (Motahari 19). Therefore such actions will not get you a fine and deportation, but a death sentence. This punishment illustrates the major difference in each society, for example a simple ‘thumbs up’ h...


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...gious paradigm, being exposed to PDA causes a shift in her perception of individual respect within Western society. This experience formulates a new insight into a Western reality that she needs to learn to familiarize to. Although laws play a sufficient part towards PDA, the respect you have for yourself and your surroundings should always be considered, as you are part of a multi-cultural society.



Works Cited

Berrada, Khalid. “Metaphors of Light and Darkness in the Holy Quran: 
A Conceptual Approach.” n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2014.
“Jailed Dubai Kissing Pair Lose Appeal Over Conviction.” BBC News. 4 April. 2010. Web. 25 Jan. 2014.
Motahari, Ayatollah Morteza. Sexual Ethics in Islam and in the Western World. Iran: Foreign Department of Bethat Foundation. Web. 25 Jan. 2014
Mackenzie, Davis. “Public Displays of Affection Gross Out Other Students.” Artesian Herald.

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