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Cultural shock in Dubai; teach myself a new skill or concept

nicolezmh1997 6 / 30 8  
Dec 19, 2014   #1
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.
ruwchii 6 / 18 3  
Dec 19, 2014   #2
With the curiosity of wanting to try

In my opinion, it is no necessary to add "of wanting"after "curiosity" . It should be more acceptable if you put it in this way:

With a curiosity to try
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Dec 19, 2014   #3
Cheung, the essay is alright in the sense of being a response to the prompt. The problem that I see is that you should have expanded more about what you learned about the holiday and how it affected you as a person. Aside from the lesson that you learned over all, what were the little lessons here and there that you picked up leading you to understand that it is important to respect diversity in each country that you visit? How have you applied what you learned to your current life? Do you think that the foundation you created for yourself regarding diversity will be something that will continue to grow for you from this point on? Do you view this as a single life lesson or merely the start of a lifelong learning experience?
OP nicolezmh1997 6 / 30 8  
Dec 19, 2014   #4
Hi Vangiespen,
Thanks you so much for your reply.
I think this experience is a single life lesson. Actually, I also know that my essay lacks some part of self-evaluation and the result after learning to respect diversity.

But I am not sure how I could expand this part on the foundation of my current version. Could you help me develop the theme?

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Dec 19, 2014   #5
Hi Cheung, well, I already offered you some guide questions in my previous response that should help you better develop the theme of the essay and discuss the important points. Try to develop those suggestions into paragraphs and then incorporate it into your current essay. After you do that, you can post the revised essay here so that I can review it for you and continue to guide you towards the proper essay answer and correct certain portions whenever necessary. Show me what you have come up with and we will work together towards improving it :-)
OP nicolezmh1997 6 / 30 8  
Dec 21, 2014   #6
Dear Vangiespen,
Thank you for your suggestion. Above is my revised essay.
I really appreciate for your help.

OP nicolezmh1997 6 / 30 8  
Dec 21, 2014   #7
Dear Vangiespen,

I really appreciate for your help. Is there any grammar errors that I should correct in my essay? Or is there any sentence that need to further revise? For exmaple, better sentence structure or better diction.

Thank you for your help and I'm looking forward to receiving your reply.



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