came across a variety of dishes all boasting rich backgrounds that formed part of the American society. It is during my efforts to try and understand more about the culture of the United States of America that I fully came to comprehend the magnitude of cultural convergence and cultural
PERSONAL CULTURAL REFLECTION 5 divergence. According to Kaufman (2019), convergence refers to the tendency that most people tend to have of becoming closer to each other. Divergence, on the other hand, refers to the tendency of people drifting apart from each other resulting in them being quite different from each other. Cultural convergence can, therefore, be described as the coming together of an assortment of cultures with the aim of influencing while at the same time being influenced by each other. Cultural divergence, on the other hand, defines the drifting apart of various cultures in an effort to preserve individual cultures from influencing each other (Kaufman, 2019). The biggest significance of cultural convergence is that when cultures interact, people are able to learn new methods of conducting themselves be it in business or in their daily lives. Cultural divergence, on the other hand, aids cultures in preserving themselves from the influence of other cultures (Badr, 2019). However, it is my opinion that while it is important to preserve one’s culture since it is where a majority of us derive our identity from, cultural convergence needs to be more prevalent. The reason behind this train of thought is the fact that when cultures interact, the people involved tend to learn a lot from each other. An example of the importance of cultural convergence can be seen in the diversity of the cuisines available in the United States of America. Thanks to the coming together of a variety of cultures, people are able to exchange recipes that they normally would not if they stuck to their own cultures only. The greatest limitation that I experienced during my multi-cultural experience is the language barrier. Moving from China to the United States of America was a very big step for me that presented and since I had grown up knowing only the Mandarin language it was quite hard for me to get settled in. Communication with the country’s natives was next to impossible since Mandarin is not a widely spoken language. I got my reprieve when I was introduced to fellow Chinese students who had been in the country longer. The issue of language barriers in a problem
PERSONAL CULTURAL REFLECTION 6 that has continually bothered many due to the restriction it causes (Businesstopia, 2018). According to Heath (2017), language barriers have been a major cause of the limitation of the flow of information worldwide. Two different parties may have information that may help the opposing party but unfortunately, without the means to communicate, neither of the two parties will benefit from the experience.
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- Fall '19