Throughout this class I have learned a lot about other cultures. I think the biggest thing that I will take away is that everything is different wherever in the world you go. I learned that if you’re traveling to another country it’d probably be good to research some cultural norms so you know what to somewhat expect. At the same time nothing will teach you more about a culture than actually being there. I enjoyed this class, I think it humbled a lot of people and showed us how lucky some of us are.
The media has a very strong influence on our culture. The recent uprising of social media lets you be someone else behind a phone screen. I think their is a separate culture when it comes to social media. Someone can portray themselves in any way they want. It also allows us to be “friends” with random people. It has also become a way of advertising, instead of companies having to pay big money to have a TV commercial they can just post on their many social media accounts. Such as Nike, who is a company who no longer has TV commercials.
I have lived with Donnett for two years now, and he had told be stories of how things were in Africa. Having the guest speaker come and reiterate all those things Donnett has said was pretty eye opening. I also had no idea how many goods were in Africa. Such as gold, diamond, oil, ect. His story made me highly interested I even watched the movie “Blood Diamond” after. Which is a movie about the civil-war that raged in Sierra Leon. A lot had to do with the goods in that were available there.
The underlying intercultural issue I found was in the Ted talk given by Timothy Graf, he discussed the strenuous roadblocks in the immigration process. It is incredibly difficult for people to immigrate out of the U.S to certain countries and almost impossible to immigrate into the U.S. Timothy Graf was born and raised in the U.S. he personally went through the process of obtaining citizenship in England. While discussing his difficulties of applying for an immigrant visa he presented photos to the audience of the prison view from his hotel window in New Jersey where he had to stay to retrieve his high school diploma from a nearby warehouse. He described the visa application process as complex and very expensive. He expressed how he felt that the whole process of obtaining an immigrant visa should be easier. He brings up a lot of points of why immigration is a good thing and that there shouldn’t be caps to visas given but minimums we should hit. I will discuss the story of how my parents immigrated to the United States. I will also discuss the points given by Graff on why immigration is so important. Lastly, I will discuss what I think should be the solution to the difficulty of immigrating.
Applying for a non-immigrant visa would be for going to a different country for a short amount of time. Reasons like business, vacation, or to study. If you’re applying for an immigrant visa, you are trying to stay in that country for a longer period. This would allow the immigrant to obtain residence and work. I am going to start by discussing the hardship my parents went through to immigrate to the United States. My mom crossed the border when she was a young girl in 1980. In 1986 there was an immigration reform and control act for people that have been here since 1982. That would allow immigrants to apply for residence status. This wasn’t for everyone, your record needed to be clean and thankfully my mother was a saint and she got her residency within a year of applying. She also needed to prove she was fluent in speaking English, had minimum knowledge of U.S history and government. Lastly you had to admit you have been in the country illegally. I imagine admitting this would be scary especially for a young girl like my mother. With the thought looming that she was being tricked to admitting she was here illegally and would be deported, upon her plea. As for my dad he had to go through something similar, he was able to apply because he worked in agriculture in the United States for a minimum of thirty days. When my mom was 21 years of age she was a student at Weber State university and had been a resident for more than five years so when she applied for citizenship it went rather smoothly. She was quickly granted her citizenship in a few months.
There you have it, my parents had to immigrate to the U.S illegally to be able to be able to obtain residency. As hard as this struggle was, these acts of immigration no longer exist. It was hard enough back then, now it is nearly impossible for someone from Mexico to immigrate to the United States, and be able to obtain a status of residency. This is also true for most of the other people around the world trying to migrate to the U.S. This is an issue because immigration brings about great advantages.
Graf discusses that when looking at the economical side of things, having restrictions on immigration and making it so difficult is ridiculous. Here in the U.S thirty percent of small businesses have a foreign-born key founder. But only thirteen percent foreign born people reside in the U.S. In the U.S we also have a growing number of foreign students. While this number is increasing the gap is also getting bigger with the number of visas that are given for work a year. The U.S is making so that only a percentage of these skilled foreigners can stay in the U.S. It’d be smart to allow the most skilled workers to stay and help our economy. Graf says there are two ways to grow the economy: first, is growth in labor, second, is growth in how productive that labor is. Another very important advantage to immigration is the social side of things. It brings about new ideas and exciting interesting new cultures into the work place.
I think the solution to making immigration easier is first accepting immigration is a good thing all around. I’m not saying allow just anyone to go anywhere, but make it easier for someone with a certain and valuable skill set to go to another country. Graf discusses what smart countries should do, like some countries have already figured out. Chile gives out visas to entrepreneurs to begin their business in Chile to better help their economy. Germany has waived all tuition to international students to make it more appealing to study there, and again to further help the economy with new ideas. Canada also offers visas, which is probably why Vancouver has one of the highest foreign born percentages.
So as you can see the immigration process is far too difficult at the moment, but I think that it all has a solution. Of course some people will suffer, but only those who are unskilled. For the overall economy it will be a good thing, and also socially it is very good to get know others from different cultures.
DARRELL M., W. (2011). The Costs and Benefits of Immigration. Political Science Quarterly,
(3), 427. doi:10.1002/j.1538-165X.2011.tb00707
Graf, T. (Director). (2015, January 23). We don’t need immigration caps. We need minimums
[Video file]. Retrieved November 01, 2017, from https://www.ted.com/watch/ted-institute/ted-state-street/timothy-graf-we-don-t-need-immigration-caps-we-need-minimums
Thomas F., O. (1990). U.S. Immigration Made Easy: An Action Guide Martha S. Siege
Lawrence A. Canter. Rq, (1), 134.
I spoke to one of my friends who is an American Caucasian girl. She is in an interracial relationship with a boy whose family is from Mexico. She talks about the differences in the family when attending family parties. She starts by stating there is a huge language barrier, she hardly knows any Spanish and is also the only Caucasian at the party, her boyfriends family really only associate with their own race, not because they don’t welcome other races but just because that’s who they know and can communicate with. On the other hand when he goes to her parties it’s pretty casual because he has lived in the U.S his whole life, their is no language barrier.
From the presentation Friday it made me think about what my roommates who are from Liberia, Germany, and Brazil felt like when they first arrived to the united states. Obviously they told me the language is a huge thing, they knew English, but weren’t used to speaking it all times and writing it all the time. My German roommate adjusted the best because in Germany they must learn to read, write, and speak in English in school. But it was still a huge culture shock for him to go from wild Germany where kids consume alcohol at the age of 13-14 to conservative Orem, Utah.
After discussing privilege for the past several weeks, my ideas have changed. Whenever I thought of privilege I always had this idea that most everyone in the U.S had the same privileges I do. I had this idea that in other countries other were less privileged, this although true to a point. Is not the case, in the U.S the privilege differences vary drastically. There are kids who were raised by one parent, kids who must take public transportation everywhere, who don’t know when their next meal will be. From the activity we did on Monday, I learned that the privileged stay privileged, and those who are not struggle to earn privileges. Although the activity was directed more to money, the rich get richer. It is a pretty direct concept, with money comes privilege.
This week we discussed racism and privilege. The activity that really stood out to me was the privilege one where you needed to take a step forward for having certain privileges and needed to take a step back for not having certain privileges. I think that this opened a lot of our classmates eyes to how privileged some of them are and how much privilege others lack. I think that this is important to be aware of, especially in Orem, Utah. I think this is sort of a bubble where everything bad that happens seems like another world away. For the most part classmates who were the least privileged are not originally from Orem.
I never really think about having certain privileges, I know that I am lucky and blessed in many ways. But I don’t think about how, so after we did the privilege activity in class I realized I live with many privileges. But also don’t have many others. Growing up, I thought I had everything I could ever ask for. Looking back I really didn’t have all that much. Although I always had food to eat, a warm bed, and parents that supported me in every way they possibly could.
After listening to patience on Friday, I think he opened a few peoples eyes in our class. We hear about racism hear in Utah, but I feel like we’re so far from big events that we feel like it isn’t real in a way. Patience talked about how he got thrown out of a bar in Provo for being black. He said he went to police station across the street, and to this day no action has been taken. I think there is a lot of racism here in Utah county, but it isn’t made as such a big deal. No one speaks out about it, which is good I guess.
My name is Giovanny Vazquez, I was born and raised in the United States of America in the state of Utah. My whole family comes from Mexico, which is the first culture I learned. Growing up in the United States I learned a lot about other races, genders, and socioeconomic classes. I learned about other races, gender, and socioeconomic through many ways such as: media, research, and especially personal experience.
I am a Hispanic male born and raised in Ogden, Utah. Both of my parents were born in Mexico and later migrated to the beautiful land of the free, America. My mom came to the states when she was very young with her family including her mom, dad, grandma, two brothers, and six sisters. Before coming to the states, Mexico was the only place they had known, so all they had were each other. Luckily, they were a pretty big family and brought the Mexican culture that I was raised into with them. On the other hand, most of my dad’s side of the family still resides in Mexico, and he didn’t make his way into the states until he was 17. He spent most of his time with my mom’s side of the family, so I never got to experience much of his family culture until I went to Mexico. Neither of my parents came from much money, both made way to America for better economic and family lifestyles. Up until I turned 7 years of age we lived in my Grandmas basement in a full house. During these years my mother was working and attending college full-time with my Father also working full-time. My parents struggled with poverty and only had one unreliable car to share but they never gave up. As I got older my mom graduated college, got a good job and my dad moved up in the work force to obtain a good paying salary. I started school and began to learn English in kindergarten, this is where I began to be immersed in a different cultures that were all new to me. Fast forward to now, I have been immersed in many cultures through personal experience.
To observe and understand other cultures we must first be aware of our own culture and the differences within it. Growing up playing soccer I was given the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world, this opened my eyes to numerous other cultures. Aside from also growing up in two different cultures with being raised in the United States and being from Mexican heritage. I will discuss race and gender opposite my own. More specifically I will discuss the Caucasian race and I will discuss how women our viewed and valued in my own culture. Specifically I will discuss intelligence levels of these different groups, their values, and their behavior.
Growing up in Utah I have witnessed Caucasian race in diverse cultures, religious beliefs, and lifestyles. When it comes to my college years in Utah County specifically it is slightly less diverse in those means. Being Hispanic religious beliefs differ from Caucasians because most of the Hispanic culture is Catholic whereas most Caucasians in Utah’s dominant religion is LDS (church of Latter Day Saints). Concerning intelligence, it is difficult to say any one race is more intelligent than other because I do not believe that is true. However, I have witnessed and encountered the advantages and disadvantages in the schooling systems being Hispanic. I did not grow up with the “white privilege” so commonly referred to today. The schools I attended were not funded or high-level schools because we could not afford to live in the areas these schools were in. I believe because of this there already is a disadvantage. You don’t get the best teachers most of the time, you don’t get the luxury of the same technology or school supplies, also if you’re in a bad part of a town, you have to be in school sometimes afraid. Personally, I was lucky my parents always made sure education was a priority and lead by example and hard work. The kids I went grew up going to school with for the most part were in same economic status as I was, as far as I could tell. But once I began playing competitive soccer, I was playing with some pretty wealthy kids who were Caucasian. I would go to their houses for team meals and they literally lived in mansions on mountain sides. Their parents both very high education levels, which is what is also expected of their kids. I was in the same boat here, not economically but my mom would accept nothing less of me going and finishing college. From living and growing up in Utah the Caucasian race and Mormon culture highly valued their religion. They lived their lives according to the religion, no coffee, no alcohol, and church on Sundays.
Being raised in a Hispanic family there was often get togethers, and by often I mean once or twice a week. So I have a lot of knowledge on how gender in my culture is perceived. Every single time my family got together for a BBQ the women would do all the cooking of treats, salads, rice, beans, pretty much any of those extras and the men would cook the meat on the grill. But if we were to get together when no grill was being used, the women would prepare everything, from even serving up the food to their kids or husband. Even in my personal household, even though my mom was going to school full-time and working full-time and raining me still. She still had her responsibilities of getting my dads lunch ready for work every day and also having dinner ready every night. This is how it is in the Mexican culture, it is what is expected. Another thing that is expected is being fluent in the Spanish language, even though most of my cousins now know English, it is still expected we are very strong in our Spanish. If I were to bring let’s say a Caucasian girl over as my date for a family party. The first two questions are if she can speak Spanish and if she can cook. Having food always prepared is a huge duty in the Mexican culture for women, I think coming to the states you see that changing with young women. But if you look down the lineage, and were to meet their grandmother their would-be food ready, and a lot of it. Whenever I go see my grandmother she will offer me food several times before I finally accept, I will finish and she will be offering more. Back when my grandmother was younger education was not important or really valued. Women’s duties in the Mexican culture were to cook, clean, and watch the young children while the men worked hard. This all changed when Mexican families made way to the states for better and different lives. This is gender from my own culture that I grew up. But now living in America the gender culture is much different, I see that women are much more independent. From past studies and research I know this wasn’t just different because the culture in America isn’t a Mexican one, it is because times have changed. Women now, I don’t believe have the same power as men, yet. I think there are many women in high positions, and I think that will only continue to grow. Times are changing and equality in gender I think is coming closer and closer, at least in America.
Most of the knowledge I got from what I have discussed is from personal experience, what I have lived through and seen in my own life. But I also asked my parents questions about how the gender culture was in Mexico when they were younger. My dad’s father died when he was young he also had a lot of older sisters, so he was raised by women and he had first hand experience how the culture was with women. I also talked to my grandma about this and asked how it was for her. As for the Caucasian race I discussed this was personal experience and speaking to different people I met, also the media has shaped a lot of my thinking. I thought that America had moved away from racism. But every time, a Hispanic male does something wrong and it is on social media or the news, I will hear some phrase or see a comment about “build the wall” referring to the wall that Trump wants to build between Mexico and the United States. Media is shaping my thinking to look at people more closely before believing most people are good people, I now question it and them. As far as how media has shaped my thinking on gender I think this is why we’re becoming more equal on the gender level. I don’t see many protests about it, and there is always women delivering messages and see them in high positions, I hope to start seeing more and more women in even higher positions eventually. Even on Netflix, I have seen many TV series where the women are the leaders in the show in some way. I think this is sending important messages, even on shows made purely for entertainment.
In conclusion, I never realized how much I knew about my own cultures and others around me before really taking the time to think about it and articulate ideas about it. I want to learn more about different cultures and how they perceive themselves compared to other around them. My family migrated here from Mexico, I want to speak to others who migrated to America from other countries and see what their experiences are like and what they think of the cultures they are now immersed in.
What stood out to me from Adonica Limon is the way she pushed through a hard life, she could have given up and no one would have blamed her. But she didn’t. She was dealt a bad hand but did well despite this. I think people should apply this to their own lives. Sometimes something as little as having a lot of homework will kick us down and we’ll just give up. I apply this to myself, I have never been handed anything I’ve worked hard for everything I get, no matter the circumstances.
What has stood out to me most in this class is the way people perceive other people, and how our biases come into play so much. It has also stood out to me how different another culture can be, for example even not having a sitting toilet and having to use a squatting toilet. That would be so different in itself. But that’s still nothing to how different other cultures are.
I think that the English only movement in the U.S is not right, for starters the United States of America Is established on immigrants. I believe this is the land of opportunity and people who come here are all speaking different languages, and the diversity it brings is good. But at the same time I do think people who come to the U.S should learn English, I just don’t believe it should be the “only language”.
As for my service learning hours, I have not yet started but I plan to run a few soccer camps with refugee students to complete my hours.