Adapting to a New Cultural Environment

Adapting to a New Cultural Environment
At some point in our lives we experience a culture as an outsider by moving from one culture to another.In the world today there are so many different cultures and not one of them is found to be the same.Instead they all have something that makes them unique, whether its language or even the clothes they wear and their behavior as well.The differences they have is what separates them from one another and who ever joins that particular culture must get accustomed to their way of life.In the society today we have many people immigrating to the United States to start a new and better life but what they soon begin to realize is that it?s a whole new world out there and in order to survive they have to get accustomed to the new way of life which is much different from their lives before.
There was one incident in my life that I can remember when I was moving from one cultural environment to another and it wasn?t easy to get use to the new way of life. Ever since I was born until the age of seven I lived my life in Poland which was a fairly small country located in Europe. Living there was a complete different thing when compared to life here.First of all there was a different language spoken which was Polish,there were different holidays, for example we didn?t celebrate your birthday but instead we celebrated the time when your name was give to you which was considered more important.The means of transportationused by the people were the train or the bus and not everyone had cars because many people weren?t able to afford them because of their cost.Today it is much harder to find jobs in Poland then it use to be, even when someone is fresh out of college with lots of degrees and time in school if they can?t find a company to hire them then they will be out of a job even though they have so many years of school finished unlike here people sometimes change their jobs every single year when over there they keep one job for almost their entire lives.At about age seven my parents came to the United States and I wasn?t aware how much my life was about to change.The first week that we arrived it was my Birthday and that was very strange to me because I have never celebrated my birthday before and therefore it was something new to me which at first I thought it was weird.The first day in school I wasn?t able to speak any English what?s so ever and couldn?t read or write in English at all.The first couple days I was really uncomfortable and wanted to return back home where I had all my friends and I could understand what was going on but after a while I got used to life in the new world and began to live my life.It was much harder for my parents because I was young and so after a couple years I was already speaking the English language fluently but for them it would take many more years to speak proper English like myself.I could still remember the first time we moved it seemed like the people in the neighborhood thought we didn?tbelong here because we spoke a different language and came here from another country.Now when I look back at the time I could see that many cultures weren?t use to the fact that other cultures could also live in the same neighborhoods as well, it was just that they were afraid of change and weren?t ready for it.But today you see a lot of different cultures such as Polish, American, Indian, African American and many more living together as one when in the past we had everyone in segregated areas living apart from one another which still happens these days but now we have more freedom to move anywhere we wish to.

In the Randal Bass reading entitled National Geographic Nudity he mentions incidents from the movie called Medicine Man where the natives were walking naked in the background of the movie and how this is considered strange and obscene coming from our point of views.Walking nude was only the attire of the rainforest natives that lived in the humidtropical forest and walking nude wasn?t done to offend anyone but instead it was part of their culture.Its how they were raised all their lives and since our typical American culture never sees that in our daily lives then it seems very obscene to us, I mean we never see people walking naked outside of our homes because it would be considered indecent exposure but since they do it all the time then it isn?t strange to them at all but if they came here and saw everyone in clothes then we would seem strange to them just because we see things through our own lenses and not theirs and in order to understand them then we need to see things through their point of view.I mean the American culture was never exposed to such things ever so it was something new because they were in a new cultural environment and they had to get adjusted to the surroundings in order to survive out there.In order for the American people to understand the natives we would have to adapt to their cultures and then we could understand their differences clearer.

There was also another time in my teen years when I once again experienced a time when I had to move from a culture into another one.This time I was about 11 years old and we just moved into Mt. Clemens which wasn?t one of the safest neighborhoods around.On my first day to middle school I was scared because once again Ididn?t know anyone at the school and I had left all my friends behind so I was starting over again.Once I walked into my first hour I noticed something strange about the classroom because about 75% of it was full of African Americans which I was never exposed to in my life so it seemed strange to me.At first I wasn?t that comfortable but it took a couple weeks to get use to the environment and the next thing I noticed that almost all my friends were African Americans and I was comfortable were I was once again.It didn?t matter what new environment I was placed in all it took was a little time and I would be in my comfort zone once again but it would take some work adjusting to the new culture.

Now when I look back at these incidents I could see a connection starting to emerge.In the Randall Bass reading there was one thing that he mentioned which kind of ties all this together which was ? Naturally, there are common ways of living in any culture that form the center of that culture;this is the way of most of the world?s cultures and societies?(Bass 208).When I moved into the United States I had to adjust to the new environment and also when I changed school and moved into an African American neighborhood I had to adapt to the changes and finally when the Medicine Man was being made in the rainforest the actors as well had to get accustomed to the new environment of naked natives.No matter what culture or society shift that you will encounter in your life if you never are going to adapt to your surroundings then you?re never going to survive.

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