I have grown up in California my whole life, so many of America’s core values such as hospitality and informality have been engraved in my mind since birth. I find it strange when I hear my friends who grew up with different cultures speak about the negative aspects of American Culture.
One aspect of American culture that I grew up with is the type of hospitality that is custom to Americans. When family members stop by unexpectedly, it is considered rude to Americans because they weren’t given forewarning. This is happened multiple times in my family. My uncle stops by for dinner and my mom will often get upset because she did not make enough food, and she obviously wants to have enough food for herself and her family. Peerdina mentions that to Americans, their home is their private space, but to foreigners, it is simply a visiting site. This is proven true in my family. My parents consider our home to be OUR home for our immediate family, and guests can stay, but they need to know their place. Similarly, when people stop by for a short time, Americans don’t necessarily feel the need to clean up. For example, one time freshman year, my friend from down the hall came over to my room to get homework help. Since I was in a college dorm and she my friend, I didn’t feel the need to clean up. However, when she got to my room, she was really offended that my room was so messy. That’s when I realized how other cultures viewed hospitality.
Another aspect of American culture is the informality that is given off especially from young people to older people. At my high school, I had many teachers who went by nickname or simply their last name with no “Mr. or Mrs.” title. Again, I never found this strange until am exchange student from Korea came to our school and was very disturbed when he heard students saying this. When I look back at that event, and when I look at American culture in general, I do think that it should be more formal and elders should be treated with more respect.
When Peerdina compared the American and the Indian households, and their informal ways of living, it took me back to several instances where that culture divide was extremely relevant. Reading what Althen and Peerdina thought of American Cor e Values was very interesting, because these are values that I see being acted out almost every single day with hospitality and informality being so present in our society.