Multicultural chaos

Multicultural chaos

Multicultural chaos

There we had been, newly married, residing hundreds of miles from both house in Durham, North Carolina, the place he was in medical college. My husband was from Texas and I used to be from the North Shore of Chicago. We got here from two totally different cultures ourselves, and we had been now collectively in a brand new one. It turned out to be tradition shock on prime of tradition shock as we adjusted to one another and the cosmopolitan scholar physique at Duke Medical Faculty.


Tradition is one thing we study. It isn’t linked to race or ethnicity, faith or anything, however it attracts inspiration from all of those teams, and particularly if we have now solely lived in a single place, have solely moved in a single social group and/or haven’t been uncovered to different cultures, we have a tendency to think about our personal tradition as sacred. Nevertheless, the opposite particular person too!

As we enter an thrilling new world of worldwide interplay, there can be clashes of cultures. Let’s proceed to have a look at this via my Thanksgiving story.


The primary Thanksgiving got here and mates from New England invited us and 6 different {couples}. Among the many friends had been a person from the Dominican Republic married to a lady from Spain; a pair from Missouri; a New York man married to a Brazilian; two French Canadians from Quebec; and two Australians who weren’t medical college students, however neighborhood mates. The religions represented had been Protestant, Catholic and Jewish. And, ought to I add, it included each women and men.

As mates, all of us talked to one another earlier than, throughout and after the occasion. Quite a lot of it was about understanding what was occurring with all these nationalities represented. We cut up into factions on what was “proper” and what was “flawed”, usually switching sides with totally different points.


“Why midday?” requested my husband. “When will we eat ?” My husband preferred the whole lot organized with out surprises. I used to be extra versatile, however able to dive in and discover, so I referred to as the hostess. “It is a buffet,” she mentioned. I regarded for extra data, like when had been we on account of go away, and will I convey something, hoping she would reveal the menu. His solutions had been usually New England, quick and concise.

“You have not found something?” requested my husband once I returned empty-handed.

“She did not provide something,” I mentioned. “I did the very best I may.”

“Why did not you simply ask him the questions?” he mentioned.

“As a result of it is impolite,” I mentioned.

“You might be too well mannered,” he replied.

“So the following time you name,” I mentioned.

“It is a lady’s job,” he replied.

We and the Missourians arrived at midday: 11, which was our cultural principle; a couple of minutes late to permit the host and hostess to make final minute changes, however not more than quarter-hour late. The French Canadians and Australians arrived about half-hour later. {Couples} that included a Latino arrived an hour or two after midday.

“How impolite,” The New Yorker mentioned. “How are we supposed to have the ability to plan? What do you do once you invite the Gonzalezes?

“Loosen up,” the Australians mentioned. “All of us have youngsters. Issues occur.”

The French Canadians spoke to one another in French, clearly not liking the delays, then smiled and mentioned to us, “Is not this an exquisite Thanksgiving,” avoiding dissension.

The Latinos did not appear to note that their wandering was something out of the unusual. They had been busy kissing everybody and having a good time!

How we cope with time varies drastically from tradition to tradition. We had had our cocktail hour by the point the Latinos arrived and had been able to eat, however thought they need to have time for drinks and a chat as nicely. It was a clumsy second. Someplace, too, there was a soccer sport concerned, the timing of which was tousled.

“Don’t fret in regards to the soccer sport,” mentioned the Dominican. “It is Thanksgiving.”

“Thanksgiving IS the soccer sport,” my husband instructed me, soto voce, offended due to this and in addition as a result of he hadn’t eaten something.


Everybody from the medical college contingent was dressed up and in festive apparel. The Australians had been in blue denims. The social group additionally has an influence of attraction.

#Multicultural #chaos

what’s tradition shock

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