An international student from Venezuela is shocked that many Americans don’t know much about the rest of the world. Do you agree?
This article was originally published at www.delmarvanow.com on May 20, 2016. It was written by Clarisa Guillen, an international student from Venezuela studying issues in American media at Salisbury University.
American culture is very different to view from outside. Since I arrived in America in August 2015, I realized almost all the people who live and were raised here do not have a big knowledge of how the rest of the world works, especially in the cultural things that are typical of each country.
Therefore, I was shocked at this difference among Americans. I think international people know a lot of the things that are happening outside of their own country, just as the world power countries – including United States – know a lot about the U.S. economy, cultural issues, trends, celebrities, food or even the popular music of the moment.
Nevertheless, all this knowledge is quite basic.
Most of the information we have is very general, but enough to understand American life. Although I have also learned a lot of the culture since I came here, living here has taught me a lot about the real American life.
With the help of my roommates and the friends I have made, I learned so many things that were really strange to me, but I still think our knowledge of other cultures goes far beyond what Americans know of us.
In my perception, all this lack of knowledge is not even the fault of American people, because Americans have all they need in their own country and do not have the necessity of seeing other things, a difference from the rest of the world – or most Latin American people.
At least Latin American people have a lot of influence from the United States culture in our culture, like the food, movies, music, trends, clothing and even the economy.
For example, before I came to the United Sates, I already knew most of the music of the moment, the movies or TV programs that were really good, the best brands of clothing and also the food and restaurants people enjoy.
Moreover, we not only know all these things, most of them are things we can perfectly find in our country, and if we start talking about the social media that each country shares, Americans would be very impressed by how much cultures have in common – for example, big businesses like McDonald’s, Burger King, Zara, Apple and many more.
In contrast, Americans do not receive any influence from our national production, almost nothing – maybe there are some people from Latin America who have created businesses in the United States, but they were developed here.
Americans do not receive a lot of cultural imports from most Latin American countries, and now I am talking specifically of Latin America, because the influence Asian countries have over the world is impressive, even here in the United States.
In conclusion, the American culture has had an important impact in all the international students’ lives, but Americans still have lot to learn from international people, countries and cultures.
That’s the only way the world could be totally united and peaceful, with understanding of what is happening around the world and the implications that these actions have on each culture.