A Cultural Encounter

A Cultural Encounter

Length: 1148 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
A Cultural Encounter

I met this "different person" at the periodical section of the Good Library of State College. After asking the person for my article that I had requested I ask his name, he answers with his Indian accent, "Ajai Ahulalia." I say, "What?s that?" "Ajai Sanhi," he responds back. "What?" I say, being embarrassed because I cannot understand his name. "Ajai Ahulalia" he tries for the third time. "Oh Ajai," finally I understand. I ask, "Were do you live?" "Yoder First" he answers, then I fell a fool again, "Really, me too." What has happened to Ajai?s life when he lived in India and now here in the U.S.?

Ajai lived in the same floor as I did but I did not notice him. I knew that there were some Indians on my floor but I had a hard time knowing Americans names, since I grew up in Israel, so I could not even pronounce Indian names. For example, the name BJ, what is BJ for? It stands for Bijayendra, how about Rishi, and Kashif? At least now after a year I know their names and can pronounce them correctly. Since then I have joined Ajai, Business double major of State College, for an Indian meal at Chicago, which was five guys into this little car of Ajai?s going to Chicago for Indian meal then a walk on the beach. I have joined their conversations even when I just understand ratarata lara a shara and put some more of this ai;u,mnbaiuet;lkmv; into the conversation. Currently I would see Ajai as a person that can be found mostly in the computer lab making money, since I would say he is a money machine or known as the varsitybooks.com. Maybe he can make our bookstore go bankrupt or at least force the prices down.

Ajai has not been always the person described. According to friends Ajai has changed his physical looks since the first time he came to State College; an Indian with very long hair, and a beard, but now with short hair and no beard. These physical characteristics were part of his Sikh religion. To be a Sikh it is not necessary to have long hair, a beard and wear traditional forms according to him. The needs of such differences are just to distinguish a Sikh from others. Ajai has dropped his costumes of his religion for the lack of time to maintain his hair and beard and the need to keep explaining why he is different from others.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"A Cultural Encounter." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Jan 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay Communication Barriers Of The Team Encounter

- ʺI had people in my life who didn 't give up on me: my mother, my aunt, my science teacher. I had one-on-one speech therapy. I had a nanny who spent all day playing turn-taking games with meʺ - Temple Grandin (Autism Speaks, 2014). As a parent with children on the Autism Spectrum, we will go to any length to help our children succeed. To reach this goal takes a team of specialists ranging from occupational therapists, special education teachers, and phycologists to create effective intervention plans to give them the best chance of success in life....   [tags: Cross-cultural communication, Communication]

Research Papers
1013 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about The Service Encounter

- The contemporary economy has shifted from industry-based to economy-based. This shift has rendered the consumer at the core of any business transaction. As service industries continue to grow in importance, customer satisfaction has become a key objective for every industry player. The consumption of service often entails the personal interaction of customers and service employees (Lovelock, Wirtz, & Patterson, 2010). This interaction is referred to as service encounter. The customer’s experience within the service process is a crucial determinant of his or her satisfaction with the service (Bitner, Booms & Tetreault, 1990b)....   [tags: economics, business, industry, strategy]

Research Papers
2553 words (7.3 pages)

Cultural Studies : Two Paradigms Essay

- Stuart Hall, “Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms” from Media, Culture and Society, Raymond Williams and E.P Thompson summarize about the way they saw culture, they refer it to the way of life and saw mass media as the main role in capitalist society. Williams’s perspective, his ideas was referred to culture as to social practice, he saw “culture as a whole way of life” and as to structuralism that makes the concept of the “structure of feeling“(Stuart Hall, “Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms” 1980). William was influenced in the seventy by Gramsci’s but, Williams became familiarly with Gramsci dominate and at the end of the 1970’s hegemony became the central concept of cultural studies....   [tags: Sociology, Cultural studies, Marxism]

Research Papers
1000 words (2.9 pages)

Stuart Hall Cultural Studies Theory Essay

- Throughout this paper I will be discuss and describe these three articles about Stuart Hall cultural studies theory the Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms from Media, Culture and Society, then the Cultural Studies in the Future tense and Sexing the Self: Gendered Positions in Cultural Studies theory. “According to, Stuart Hall, “Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms” from Media, Culture and Society, Raymond Williams and E.P Thompson summarize about the way they saw culture, they refer it to the way of life and saw mainstream media as the main role in capitalist society....   [tags: Sociology, Cultural studies, Marxism, Anthropology]

Research Papers
1036 words (3 pages)

Cultural Differences and Intercultural Communication Challenges Essay

- ... These misconceptions and misrepresentations were the driving force that made me want to interview this gentleman for my cultural comparison report. As I approached my interviewee I explained to him my assignment and asked if he would be willing to answer a couple question about his culture. He eagerly agreed and seemed very happy that someone was generally interested in understanding his life. My cultural experience started almost immediately. When conversing with David in public the stigma was almost unbearable....   [tags: cultural identity, cultural history]

Research Papers
1777 words (5.1 pages)

Cultural Competence and Intercultural Communication Essay

- When individuals or groups from different cultures communicate, this process is called intercultural communication. The transaction process of listening and responding to people from different cultural backgrounds can be challenging. The greater the difference in culture between two people, the greater the potential of misunderstanding and mistrust. Misunderstanding and miscommunication occur between people from different cultures because of different coding rules and cultural norms, which play a major role in shaping the patterns of interaction (Jandt, 2012)....   [tags: cultural training, nurses, patients]

Research Papers
1667 words (4.8 pages)

Encounter Between the Hawaiians and Captain Cook Essay

- Encounter Between the Hawaiians and Captain Cook The arguments of Marshall Sahlins and Gananath Obeseyekere with regard to the cross-cultural encounter between Captain Cook and his men demonstrated different viewpoints and beliefs pertaining to whether or not Captain Cook and his men were perceived to be gods by the Hawaiians. Sahlins and Obeyesekere based the validity of Cook’s deification on several factors that will be focused on below. They both used the physical aspects of Captain Cook in relation to his being perceived as a god or not by the Hawaiians....   [tags: History Hawaii Cook God Essays]

Research Papers
1529 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on Cultural Differences in Communication

- The term “culture” refers to the complex accumulation of knowledge, folklore, language, rules, rituals, habits, lifestyles, attitudes, beliefs, and customs that link and provide a general identity to a group of people. Cultures take a long time to develop. There are many things that establish identity give meaning to life, define what one becomes, and how one should behave. Distribution and exercise of power shape attitudes towards authority. How people sustain themselves economically, and how they manage to obtain the necessities of life, determines assigned roles of individuals and the relationships among them....   [tags: Cross Cultural Communication]

Research Papers
1414 words (4 pages)

Cultural Revolution : The Chinese History Essay

- Cultural Revolution In the Chinese history there is an important date that many remember. That is the Cultural Revolution that started in 1966 (Chan 103). This Cultural Revolution wasn’t a war by any means, but a competition between the different factions of the communist party for power. The Cultural Revolution was also a very important event in the history of the Chen Village. We saw through the different chapters of Chen Village just how it affected the different people that were living there during the eleven year span that it lasted (Chan 103)....   [tags: Mao Zedong, Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping]

Research Papers
1471 words (4.2 pages)

Cultural Anthropology and Ethnographic Fieldwork Essay

- Cultural Anthropology and Ethnographic Fieldwork James P. Spradley (1979) described the insider approach to understanding culture as "a quiet revolution" among the social sciences (p. iii). Cultural anthropologists, however, have long emphasized the importance of the ethnographic method, an approach to understanding a different culture through participation, observation, the use of key informants, and interviews. Cultural anthropologists have employed the ethnographic method in an attempt to surmount several formidable cultural questions: How can one understand another's culture....   [tags: Cultural Anthropology Papers]

Research Papers
1792 words (5.1 pages)

Related Searches

He does not consider himself a fanatic Sikh religious person; he is a Sikh but does not devote too much time to the religion even though he knows what he believes in. A Sikh is a follower of the Gurus as the word Sikh says. He never felt discriminated here in the U.S., he says, because maybe he does not care much about discrimination issues. In India a person can do a racist comment, and such a comment will not be offensive as it is here. People there do not care what you say about them.

Ajai is the only Sikh in the State and Elkhart region. There are two in South Bend and an Organization in Valparaiso, IN. However, in California and Canada the concentration of Sikhs is much greater. The lack of people of the same religion does not bother Ajai since he is not a devoted follower of his religion. Around 1984 in India there was an Operation Tiger in Mrs. Gandhi government, which killed militants in the most secret Sikh temple in India. This caused Mrs. Gandhi bodyguards (Sikhs) to kill her, which generated a massacre against the Sikh people. Ajai was just a little kid at that time and his family lived in a small town and the Sikhs were persecuted only in the larger cities, so he did not feel persecution back home.

As I have experienced, it is different to go back to a country that I have grown up when I have been far from it for a while, a "Been-to" experience. The same has happened to Ajai when he returned to India. "It was difficult to adapt again," he says. To make it easier he spent more time with his parents, who knew that Ajai would be a different person because his brother, Uncle and Mother (reason for coming to the U.S) had come to the U.S. and had noticed the difference between cultures. But Ajai said that if the extended relatives spent time with him they would be shocked with his change. The experience of coming to the U.S. also involved the need to adapt. The way that he spoke English was not the common American way, but beside the language, his adapting to the U.S. was easy because even back home he needed to adapt when moving from a small town to a big city.

A question is asked to a "Been-to," "Where are you going after College?" Ajai says that he will stay here for two more years, and then he does not know. If he goes back to India there will be some adjusting and adapting again. It is hard to work in India; there is not much organization, laws and ethics he says. He hopes that he can open a business in computer software, hardware and programming commerce. Seeing Ajai as a person that works a lot and takes a full time school load I notice in a broader range too, how international students work much more than Americans. His explanation is that students? parents could help with college but students would rather not ask for money because they do not want to worry their parents and people in India work a lot for the little money that they get compared to the U.S. "International students want to be responsible," he says. This is a perfect lesson to Americans to learn when mammy and daddy gave you a car when you are sixteen and said "do not worry we will help you to pay for college"; look at international students that work sometimes at least twenty hours a week, are full time student and do surprisingly better in academics than American students do. Is the difference in what Ajai said? "They prefer to be responsible."

What should you do when you see an Indian next time? Talk to them and try to understand where they are coming from, but if you are totally ignorant to the point of making the remark that in India the streets are full of elephants instead of cars you have a lot of catching up to do. We have a lot to learn from foreign people. They have way much more experience in life than we do, but do not say ignorant remarks about their country, this will result in the lost of respect and interest in you.

Return to 123HelpMe.com