Lives and Beliefs
Within this essay a case study will be provided examining the similarities and differences between two cultural backgrounds. This information will be sourced from two interviewees. Background information will be provided on each interviewee and their perspective on culture will be explained. A description of how culture has impacted on the life experiences and belief systems of each interviewee will be provided. The way culture impacts on each interviewees interactions with others will be described. Some suggestions regarding minimising the impact of cultural divides will be supplied.
Finally a discussion comparing the cultural experience and similarities and differences between the two interviews will be provided. Throughout the essay relevant references will be provided to link ideas to theory and strengthen arguments. The Interviewees Alice The first interviewee is named Alice. Alice is from Rwanda and is a survivor of the atrocities of 1994 during which she witnessed her mother, father and 3 sibling violently murdered. She fled the war torn area soon after and with help from remaining family made her way to Australia as an Asylum seeker.
Alice lived in Australia for many years, married and had two children. For business reasons she and her family have moved to Bali, but still regularly visit Australia where the still own property. Alice says she feels closer to her own cultural style in Bali she says she feels “closer to the earth”. Airini Airini is the second girl interviewed and comes from New Zealand, her ancestry is Samoan and her family has a strong sense of cultural and are great believers in keeping culture alive and strong.
Airini also lost her parents at a young age from illness and heart disease and was brought up after that time by her Aunty and Uncle. She was brought up in New Zealand with a strong sense of her Pacific heritage and is very proud of her cultural beliefs. Some of her strng cultural beliefs are to do with art and she is adorned with traditional tattoos. Tradition and family have been huge influences in her life, yet when she goes to Samoa she is treated as a Palagi (European). Perspectives on Culture
Culture is what makes a society homely, it is the ways people speak, behave and treat one another, it is familiarity and what we are used to. (Bolstead & Hamblett (2001). Culture is usually a socially transmitted and involves beliefs and ways of doing things. (Pervin and John, 2001). Usually culture is handed down from generation to generation it is a taught system of values and societal norms. (Kosslyn & Rosenberg, 2001). Culture is originally derived from anthropology and referred to artifacts and creations of man, but know days it refers more to the norms of societies.
How people collectively behave and practice in similar ways because of their geographical locations or groups to which they belong. Culture is diiferent in meaning to ethnicity but often ethnicity influences how a person evolves culturally. (Van Kreiken, Smith, Habibis, McDonald, Haralambous & Holbourn, 2000) Alice Alice has a strong sense of culture from her time in Rwanda, although she left at age 17 she still remembers the loving community she was a part of. In her home in Bali she loves to grow food and tries to live as naturally as possible.
“Culture is your soul it is your home, it is when everything is done as it should be or how it makes sense to you, for me, my culture is very, um, about love and respect for each other and the earth, … we would feed each other, if someone had no food and you only had one piece of bread you would share it with them because when you have nothing they will share with you” (Alice Bebe, personal Interview, March 19, 2010). Airini Airini view on culture is very family based and involves many traditional practices. ” I grew up with lot’s of traditional culture, family and religion.
These are the main things that make me who I am. Culture and customs are highly regarded and thought to be some that should be strong and kept alive. I lived in New Zealand and spoke english at home but I was taught Samoan by my extended family who were my new parents when mine passed away. They said you must know who are to be able to achieve, when you know where you came from and who you are you cant fail, my tattoos help me feel connected to my culture and remind me of who I am” (Airini Manaia, personal interview, March 22, 2010).
How Culture has Impacted their Lives and Beliefs Cultural Identify and self identity impact directly on individuals lives and belief systems. Often cultural beliefs are affected by things learnt within a persons formitive years which is often the case for people from distinct ethnic backgrounds. (Matsumoto & Juang, 2008) Alice Alice explains that her culture has impacted her life in many ways. She has a strong belief in helping strangers and neighbours and is offended if someone does not accept her help.