Haitian Cultural Interview

Topics: Haiti, Haitian Creole language, Haitian American Pages: 7 (2698 words) Published: May 27, 2013
Cultural Interview
Joe Elms
Facilitator: Karla Larson
NURS: 401 Transcultural Nursing
April 9, 2013

Plagiarism Statement
I have read and understand the plagiarism policy as outlined in the syllabus and the sections in the IWU Catalog relating to the IWU Honesty/Cheating Policy. By affixing this statement to the second page of my paper, I certify that I have not cheated or plagiarized in the process of completing this assignment. I also certify that the work submitted is original work specific for this course and to my program. If it is found that cheating and/or plagiarism did take place in the writing of this paper, I understand the possible consequences of the act/s, which could include expulsion from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Joseph ElmsApril 9, 2013

Cultural Interview
The purpose of this paper is to discuss an interview which took place with a person of a different culture who has lived in the United States for a period of five years or less. The idea behind the interview was to gain a deeper understanding of that person’s culture as well as their religious beliefs, health, political views, family, and way of communicating. My interview took place at the hospital where I currently work, in a break room after the end of my shift with P.O., a physician who joined our organization in July of 2012. P.O. comes to our facility after completing a three year pediatric residency in Chicago. Prior to his pediatric residency, P.O. lived in Haiti where he also completed a five year surgical residency, at State University of Haiti Hospital, Port-au-Prince. Culturally unique individual: My interview began after a brief conversation with P.O. to discuss with him the details of the assignment and to answer any questions he might have regarding the interview. I emailed P.O. earlier in the week to confirm our meeting place and time, and wanted to make sure he was clear on the purpose of the interview, since all of our prior conversations were discussed via email. He assured me that he understood and the interview began. I began the interview with asking P.O. to tell me a little about himself such as where he was born, and how long he had lived in the United States. P.O. replied that he was born in Port-de-Paix, Haiti, and had lived in the United States for almost 5 years (P.O. personal communication, April 4, 2013). He explained to me that right after his moving to the United States, he and his wife lived for a short time in Tampa, Florida with some of his family and friends while looking for a place to live in Chicago. Communication: P.O. speaks with a strong resonant sound. His pronunciation and enunciation are slurred and often difficult to understand. While he does speak English, it is hard to understand, and I found myself asking for him to repeat himself on numerous occasions. He pauses often throughout our conversation, almost as if he is unsure of how to communicate his thoughts to me in English. I asked him what language he often prefers to speak and his response was, “French or Haitian Creole” (P.O. personal communication, April 4, 2013). He mentioned that speaking “French” is considered more high class and upscale, and to speak Creole is considered a lower class language (P.O. personal communication, April 4, 2013). I do recall reading that “Haitian Creole is the language of the rural or poor population” and “French is the official national language and is understood and spoken only by the upper or wealthy class” (Giger, 2013, p. 489). During our conversation, P.O. used frequent hand movements and gestures when speaking and I recall reading that “Haitians frequently use hand gestures to complement their speech” (Giger, 2013, p. 489). P.O. made great eye contact with me during the asking of my questions, and often used exaggerated facial expressions with most of his words. While most Haitians tend to not make direct eye contact (Colin, n.d., p. 12), I wondered if...
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