help in times of need. The morals instilled in me by my relatives have greatly influenced the person that I have become. Another aspect of my cultural background that helped shape me was the financial status of my family. My parents were not always in a position to provide everything we wanted, but they gave us what we needed. My humble upbringing taught me to carry myself with modesty and never to look down on others. Moreover, practicing the religion of Taoism has dramatically impacted how I interacted with other people. Having lived in harmony with the environment and society, I can gauge individuals and their emotions, and it enables me to respond to them accordingly. For the majority of my life, the Chinese culture was the only tradition that I was familiar with. However, that situation changed when I traveled to the United States to pursue higher education studies. When I arrived in the US, it was challenging to familiarize myself with new cultural norms. My life in China was significantly different. While growing up in Chinese society, we were taught that no individual was higher than the group. As a result, we all grew up considered how our actions affected other people . On the contrary, in the US, I noticed that
Personal Reflection 4 individuals tend to care mostly about their interests. According to Bryant (2019), American society can be described as a meritocracy, whereby people can stand out due to their achievements. I had to adjust to fit in this new setting. The mix of both the Chinese and American cultures has influenced my professional life significantly. Today, I can interact with the Chinese and Americans with ease. One aspect of the American culture that I found to be quite appealing is that freedom of speech was viewed as a right to be enjoyed by all. Moreover, I am impressed that access to information is always a guarantee in the Western country. On the contrary, in China, the government has strict laws that heavily censor the internet and the media at large (Bryant 2019). Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube that Americans enjoy daily, are not freely available in China. In such a way, in the US, people have more rights. In an attempt to understand more of the American culture, I decided to take a few measures that would aid in my humble quest. One of them included watching American television regularly since the country tended to rely on the media for information (InterExchange 2019). By familiarizing myself with the US local media content, socializing with Americans became more manageable since they derived much from the popular media culture. Another strategy that I tried out was comparing the country’s different cuisines. Due to the diversity in the US, the nation offers a variety of dishes, with all boasting rich backgrounds that formed part of the American society. Trying out the US food and exploring popular media has greatly helped me in everyday life.
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- Fall '19