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Co-Cultures

By | May 2012
Page 1 of 3
Application Paper #1: Co-Cultures
The objective of this assignment was to experience another culture different from our own. I had the privilege of observing the French culture. My friend Elisa and her family are from Nantes, France which is west of Paris. They moved to the United States not too long ago and currently live in Irvine, California. I had the privilege of visiting Elisa and her family to have dinner and to see how the French culture is like. I chose this culture because the French is a high-context culture whereas the United States is a low-context culture. I thought that this would be difficult for me because in our low-context culture we depend on the direct language for communication while individuals in a high-context culture depend on “contextual cues” for communication. I noticed this plenty of times throughout the night as well when I met Elisa’s parents for the first time they were very welcoming. Elisa’s mother had a very high vocal tone and a very strong French accent. It sounded like her mother was very thrilled to have me over. Elisa’s father and I shook hands with a light grip which is social-polite touch. He did not have any artifacts nor did Elisa’s mother. However, when I observed the way Elisa greeted her parents it was different. She kissed her mother and father once on the right cheek. It was different because when I see individuals do that here in the United States, they kiss both cheeks. I removed my shoes before entering the house to show respect and addressed them by Mr. and Mrs. Pogu as a sign of respect. However, the correct way to address French individuals is by calling them Monsieur and Madame. I noticed that calling her parents by their first name is only for close friends and family. I thought that this was interesting because French individuals and families will tell you if you can call them by their first name.

While dinner was being prepared, Elisa gave me a tour of her house. In France, it is rude to ask if you...

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