Childhood Best Friend

Topics: Puerto Rico, Culture, Difference, Sociology, Anthropology, Global warming / Pages: 3 (527 words) / Published: Oct 20th, 2013
My childhood best friend and her family hosted a foreign exchange student when we were in middle school. He was a couple years older than us but I got to know him pretty well in the time he spent studying in America. One of the things that I remember the most about him being “culturally” different was his view of importance of eating as a family at least twice a day. I remember after he moved in, my best friend’s family started to eat breakfast together and either lunch or dinner together as well. I also noticed he had a bigger concern of global warming and being environmentally friendly than most Americans. He recycled and I never saw him throw a piece of trash on the ground ever. One difference that I found quit humorous was his fear of becoming sick. It was kind of over the top. If someone started to get a cold he would go on a Lysol spree killing any germ that came in his path. “The exchange of greetings is the most ordinary, everyday use of language and gesture found universally” and I noticed that he greeted everyone just about the same way as I did (Scupin, 105). For the most part, he was a normal teenager but I definitely saw differences here and there that reminded me he was from another culture.
The encounter that I had with the foreign exchange student definitely made me reflect my own culture and way of doing things. I questioned what I was missing out on by not eating at the table with my family every night, how much I would make a difference if I started recycling my soda cans, and why I don’t run and hide at the glance of a friend catching a cold. I did notice that the foreign exchange student was very eager to try new things and he didn’t seem out of place. As our text states, “Our unprecedented success in adapting to different conditions reflects not only our open biograms, but also the influence of human culture” (Scupin, 61). I believe I did realize what I do is also part of a learned way of being. The things I do every day are my culture.

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