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Running head: CULTURE EVERYONE HAS IT
Culture Everyone Has It
May 22, 2016
My name is Jen and I am a 24 year old female from South Africa. I am doing an experiment on the United States and their culture. The first place I visit doing my six month stay was Los Angeles, CA. During my stay I will be with an African American family of four. The couple is married with two teenagers. The first time I meet the family I was greeted with a firm hand shake by the husband and greeted with a hug by the wife. I guess this was their way of showing respect and kindness. Both of the kids addressed me by my first name but had a Ms. In front of it. They called me “Ms.Jen” to show a sign of respect which is very common among black Americans.
Later on that day we would arrive at their house located in a suburban part of Los Angeles. The house was a 1200 square feet house and it had three bedrooms. Each child had their own room and both use a shared bathroom. By me being the house guess one of the kids had to give up their room and sleep in the living room. The family said it was common practice when guess stay over to make them feel at home. As the wife showed me around the house she explain that anything I needed would be in the kitchen and I can help myself. If I needed a drink or something to eat I was to get it on my own. This was another way they made me feel comfortable in their house.
As the day almost came to an end the wife was preparing dinner for the family. I notice no one was in the kitchen helping her prepare the meal. Each child was in a separate room either on the phone or watching TV and the husband was in one room watching a sport game. I noticed everyone seem so distance but content at the same time. Soon dinner is ready, both of the children were allowed to eat in the main room and watch TV while playing on the phone. The parents said this behavior is common and usually on big holidays is when the family would eat together.
As the night came to an end the kids would shower and get ready for bed. In the kids room the doors were to stay open while the parent’s door stayed closed. They mention to me that it was giving privacy to the house guess and as well as the kids. As the morning came around each child would get dress and walk to school. Right before leaving for school each child was giving a kiss and a hug alone with money for lunch. I was told this is very common to show affection when a child is leaving the house for school or just in general. Then the wife and husband would soon rush off for work in separate cars being very concern about being on time for work. I was told when you are late for events or work you can be look upon as a not so good person.
At the end of my trip the family took me out to a fancy restaurant as a token of appreciation. I was able to eat anything off the menu without being asked to pay for it. When the bill would arrive the husband was the one who pay for the check for the family. I was told that usually the man pays for the bill when dining with close friends or family as a sign of respect.
During my stay I learned that some of the kids in America have a lot of freedom in the household. For example using their electronic devices at any time and spending a lot of time with their peers. The parents are more laid back and only will discipline their kids when necessary.
key american values (2013, july 17). handbook for foreign students and scholars, .
Culture Everyone Has1