Unanswered [15] | Urgent [0]
  

Home / Undergraduate   % width Posts: 2

In 2006, I went to Vancouver; Cross-cultural experience essay


je2ks2 19 / 10  
Mar 23, 2008   #1
Hello, would you correct any grammatical mistakes and give some editing suggestions-especially regarding word choice-on this essay? I am not sure whether I chose appropriate vocabulary which fits into the context well and sentences are understandable for you. Thank you so much in advance. :-)

In 2006, I went to Vancouver, one of the cities in Canada, for an extended English study. I stayed there for almost 9 months, experiencing a lot of new things. Vancouver is well-known as a multicultural society. In other words, you will see many people from different cultural backgrounds there. While staying in Vancouver, I had faced cultural differences on occasion, which sometimes were too huge from my home culture to overcome them. I will write about intercultural experiences that I had in Vancouver.

First of all, one thing that surprised me was 'open culture' (relatively, compare to my home culture). Since my thoughts and views were so much influenced by the norms of Confucianism-a fundamental basis of Korean culture, it took me some time to accept homosexual couples frequently seen on streets or buses without prejudice. It was a total shock to hear from my friend , saying "I saw one of my male teachers kissing with a guy on the corner of street." 'Homosexuality' is not warmly welcomed in my country. Rather, people in my home culture abhor gays or lesbians and do not simply accept them as social members. The concept of homosexuality has traditionally been strictly forbidden, being thought as a taboo in conservative society of mine. That is why many gays in my country are afraid of coming out of the shell. Unlike my culture, Canadians are more generous in embracing them as a member of their community. Encountering homosexual couples too often outside was shocking to me at first, but I get accustomed to seeing those people without strong dislike and started seeing them as different beings, not strange or abnormal.

Second astonishing experience was the way of greeting. As mentioned before, Vancouver has a variety of ethnic groups, so I got many chances to meet different people from various countries. When I saw Asian friends from Japan or China, we just waved each other for greeting. However, things were very different when I met some friends from European or South America countries. They gave me a hug, and even kissed on my cheeks as a sign of greeting. It was very uncomfortable and awkward for me first, especially when male friend greeted me with that way. In my culture, we do not usually hug each other, not mention to kiss except when we see our beloved one like boyfriend or girlfriend. Yet, this custom naturally grew on me as time passed, and I started to enjoy this because it gave me a good opportunity to hug a guy from Brazil who I liked.

There is an old saying 'Do in Rome as the Romans do' which indicates the importance of not sticking to only one's home culture when visiting another country. Otherwise, what would be left is only home-sickness or even depression. I tried my best to adjust to a new culture and be flexible while staying in Vancouver. I knew that the old concepts that I brought from my home would interfere to adapting to a new circumstance. Despite my all efforts, there were some remaining conflicts between my cultural view verses the norms in the new culture as we have seen above. Fortunately, two problems derived from cross cultural differences were gradually solved as I got accustomed to a new culture as time went by. The important things in overcoming cultural differences are one's willingness and time. If I had not tried hard to adapt to the new culture, the experience I had there would have been frustrating with having much more difficult time. Thus, we do not have to be overwhelmed by cross-cultural difference. Time will heal everything as long as one is ready to accept the distinctive differences with open-mind.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Mar 24, 2008   #2
Greetings!

You've written a very interesting essay! Here are some editing tips for you:

While staying in Vancouver, I faced cultural differences on occasion, which sometimes were too huge from my home culture to overcome them.

(relatively, compared to my home culture)

the norms of Confucianism--a fundamental basis of Korean culture--it took me some time to accept homosexual couples frequently seen on streets or buses without prejudice.

It was a total shock to hear my friend say "I saw one of my male teachers kissing with a guy on the street corner."

being thought of as a taboo in that conservative society of mine.

many gays in my country are afraid of coming out of the closet. (Coming out of one's shell usually refers to someone who is shy, rather than gay; for gay, one says "closet"--though I really couldn't tell you why. :-) )

Encountering homosexual couples too often outside was shocking to me at first, but I got accustomed to seeing those people without strong dislike and started seeing them as different beings, not strange or abnormal.

The second astonishing experience was the way of greeting.

When I saw Asian friends from Japan or China, we just waved at each other as a greeting.

They gave me a hug, and even kissed my cheeks as a sign of greeting. It was very uncomfortable and awkward for me at first, especially when male friends greeted me in that way.

I knew that the old concepts that I brought from my home would interfere with adapting to a new circumstance.

the experience I had there would have been frustrating and given me a much more difficult time.

Time will heal everything as long as one is ready to accept the distinctive differences with an open mind.

Good work!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com


Home / Undergraduate / In 2006, I went to Vancouver; Cross-cultural experience essay