/ Cultural shock in Dubai; teach myself a new skill or concept
Hi. This essay is for one of the top universities in America. And this is almost my final draft. I need some suggestions on my grammar, or on content of my reflection at the end of the story.
The deadline is coming soon so that I really need your help! Thanks :)What is something you have taught yourself in the last year? How did you teach yourself this new skill or concept and what was the result? (500 word limit)
As I strode down the street in Dubai last year, the hot air mixed with my excitement, reminding me that I was now in a mysterious habitat. With the curiosity of wanting to try some Arabian food, I excitedly went to a local restaurant. Yet, unexpectedly, the guard standing outside the restaurant barred my way.
"Now is the special festival for Muslims called Eid, which prohibits eating before sunset." The guard spoke in an outright manner. It was the first time that I heard about this abnormal custom of Islam.
"But I am only a tourist, not a Muslim. You could not restrict my liberty to have dinner.", I said in a confused voice. He stoically answered "The tradition of Islam is the same for everyone in Dubai. Once you step on the ground of Abu Dhabi, you should, and you must, conform to the religion."
Listening to his response, I was disappointed. Gradually, my initial disappointment transitioned into annoyance. Why must I conform to the Muslim's traditions? As a person who knew nothing about Islam, I felt that their customs seemed quite unusual.
Back to the hotel, I began to search for the information of Eid and came to know that every year there is a period of time that Muslims go on fasting until sunset. For Muslims, the fasting is to purify themselves both physically and mentally. In this way, Muslims can assure that their bodies, mindsets, and spirits are in extremely pious conditions.
Glancing over the information, I felt guilty about getting annoyed over religious customs. I realized that in places where diversity thrives, I should constantly understand and respect others' customs and beliefs, since each person who has a diverse cultural background has his or her underlying reason. Although sometimes the beliefs of people from various backgrounds are quite hard to comprehend, understanding the situation better before solving conflicts is much more effective. Moreover, only by truly embracing others' customs could I learn from the merits or essence of their beliefs. Deeply moved by Muslims' pious sacrifice, I understood the importance of remaining determined to one's beliefs, while at the same time learning to possess a passionate attitude towards others.
Later that year, having great interest in touching others' beliefs, I went on a journey to Malaysia. At there, I encountered people who were accustomed to eat by using their hands. Seeing their gestures, I tried to form a mindset that could help me to better understand their behaviors. Failed to do so, I asked local people. "Well, it is just one of our customs. Maybe Eating by hands would make food more delicious." I smiled. Right. Different cultures have their own customs. When we meet those bizarre customs, we should embrace them with thinking about their underlying reasons. Thus, I conformed to the behaviors of the local people. Indeed, eating by hands was a fantastic experience that, at that time, suddenly, I felt that the food in my hands were so soft, so accessible, and so precious. I was even grateful to possess a condition that I could eat fully every day.
The cultural shock I encountered in Dubai was an exploration. It prompted me to develop a sense of deeper realization and appreciation. Moreover, through the process of embracing Islamic culture, I now better understood what others are going through, and can understand the way they think and learn through the power of faith. In the future, I look forward to coming across, appreciating, and continuously absorbing the glorious merits of diversity.