Cross-Cultural Interview and Summary Essay
Cross-Cultural Interview and Summary
For this interview, I invited a 32 year old single, Indian male who had been a resident of the United States for more that 10 years. He is a resident of San Jose California. However; he is always designated in different parts of the country. He is currently working as a Software Engineer in one of the Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) in the United States. His name is not mentioned due to confidential reasons. In this interview, he will be named as Mr. S. The Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIA) community are one of the fastest emerging population in the United States.
In 1999, the population of the community was estimated at around 11 million. It is predicted that the number will increase up to 20 million in the year 2020. Also the same year, APIA comprised 4% of the total population of the United States, 12 % were Hispanics and 11 percent were African-Americans. The APIA community is composed of members from different countries. Some of these countries include the Philippines, Japan, China, India, Pakistan, Micronesia, Hawaii, Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Korean and Indonesia. Most of these nationalities chose to stay in the State of California where in there are 12% of the population is APIA.
Due to the differences of the nationalities of its members, the community displays a dynamic and diverse culture distinct from others. Not only are they different in norms, but they also require special care regarding with their health needs because they are not accustomed to the weather. This sometimes causes health problems. During the interview process such questions are posted for the interviewee in order to accomplish the goals of this paper: 1. Demographics of the individual being interviewed (age, gender, level of education, what they do for a living, and how you know them). 2.
How do you identify yourself culturally? How did you come to this identification? 3. Under what conditions did you and your family enter the United States (immigrant, political refugee, slave, etc. )? What was that like? 4. Has your cultural group experienced oppression historically? How has this impacted you? 5. Have you experienced discrimination/racism/or other isms? In what ways? What happened as a result of this experience? 6. What were your expectations when you were little about what you would be when you grew up and what your life would be like? 7. Did you feel you had a lot of choice in selecting dates?
In selecting mates? In finding jobs? In finding housing? In obtaining credit? In obtaining medical care? 8. How did your expectation get met or not met? 9. What are common misperceptions about your group that you would like to see changed or corrected? 10. What are the most important things for people outside your cultural group to learn and appreciate about your group? 11. What are the best things for you, personally, about belonging to your cultural group? 12. Is there anything else you’d like to share? 1. Mr. S is a native of India before he came to the United States.
He was ten years old when his family to migrated in the United States. His parents believe that they he and his siblings will have a better life in the United States compared in the India. He was able to continue his schooling in the United States and graduated college. He is currently 32 years old. He grew up in San Jose California but he is often traveling due to the nature of his work. He is working as the Head software engineer and he is assigned to monitor every state that their company has an office. I was able to know Mr. S because of a relative who is also currently working in the same MNC in the United States.
I was acquainted with him in one of the small family parties that we had. He was invited by my relative. I thought he could be the best person that I could interview for assignment because he had both experience American and Indian living. 2. Mr. S. have been staying in the United States for more than 10 years now. He has experienced living in different part of the worlds that has different cultures and traditions. Though, he had experience such, he considered himself more of an Indian rather than an American. In the interview, Mr. S. has stated that was strongly influenced by their Indian traditions.
From the time that they moved in the United States, until now, they still practice the old beliefs that they have. He still practices Hinduism and speaking of their native tongue. He considers himself as because he believes that he is still an Indian living with other nationalities. He may be influenced by his environment, he still do not consider himself as an American because of his values and beliefs. 3. His family entered the United States through applying for an immigrant visa. His family waited for many years to finally be able to stay and live in the United States.
However, before applying, his parents have tried to stay in the United States for a couple of months just to make sure that their family will be able to attain their desired lifestyle and their needs. 4. In answering this question, Mr. S. had mentioned about the oppression of the British in India. They had been oppressed and colonized by the British for many years and took control of their resources. Indians were not given the political power that they deserve or the respect that they needed. They were severely maltreated my Britain which resulted to the amassing of Indians through the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.
The leader was able to liberate and gives empowerment to people. HE encouraged peaceful means and condemned violent actions against the British. As he was retelling me the history of their liberation he was obviously affected by the action of Mahatma Gandhi. He was being proud of his ancestors and his leader for the great and incomparable unity of Indians. He had pride with himself and believes that their country became known because of the actions Gandhi had taken. He actually said that if he sometimes become insecure of him self because of his race, he often think of their history and Gandhi.
5. As a young kid, Mr. S was discriminated by different people for he was still innocent of the life in the Untied States. He was often discriminated by the way he looked like, his skin color and his accent. For most people, like he said, he was “unique. ” He was not blonde or blue eyed. He did not know the trends that kids knew when he came to the United States—he was out of place. There were times that he would ask his parents why he was being laughed at by kids in his school while those from India did not care much about him and easily became friends with him.
All these questions bothered him while he was growing up until finally he was able to understand the situation and counter the actions made against him and his race. For he was still a young boy, he did not know what to do. Although he has asked his parents the reason for the discrimination that had been experiencing, he was still not able to fully intake and understands it. Now, that he is older he surely knows the root cause of the discrimination that he had received. But still, he is still reminded of his harsh childhood which still makes him feel hurt and somehow unwanted. 6. He said that he was just a normal boy.
He wanted to be a doctor and serve the poor. He dreamt of helping the needy for that is what they were taught. He recounts that he wanted to become rich so that he could help the poor. He expected that he will be like those people that he sees on television—popular and rich. He did not though that there would be problems such as poverty or discrimination. As a child he saw the world as united, equal and at peace. 7-8 With regards to dates, Mr. S. was a bit shy when being interviewed about the topic of dating. He kept on laughing and he does not answer the questions directly compared to the other questions.
Although he was not treating the question seriously, he answered that it was one of his problems while he was growing up. Due to his looks and insecurities as a child, he was not able to date as much as he wanted to. He was often shy in asking girl on dates and is afraid of rejection. Although there were many pretty American women, he still wanted an Indian woman because he believes that as a couple, they will be able to understand each other compared to other races in the United States. In welfare services, his family was lucky to have not experienced any complications or conflicts in getting their benefits.
Housing was not a problem because his parents were able to rent a house and eventually their family was able to own a house of their own when they were naturalized. In finding a job, Mr. S. was also fortunate because he was able to get a high paying job compared to other Indians of his age. Another factor would be his education in the United States as well as the good performance that he I providing the companies that he had worked for. Currently, he is earning 45,000 Dollars monthly. 9. The common misperceptions that other people have about Indians that all of them or most of them have convenience store.
Mr. S. finds it funny that they are limited as store owners. “Indians are intelligent,” as he said. He continued to promote his people by tell me that Indians were the inventors of “Yahoo” which is one of the most popular homepages in the world. He continues to boast that Indians are hard working and smart. He also mentioned that recently, the Indian government has boosted its technological advancement and research facilities for the development of their county. 10. He mentioned that India has one of the most interesting culture compared to other cultures in the world.
The Hindu religion and the social class structure could be studied and view to see the country’s history. The deep historical roots of India and the experiences that it had give a unique 11. Mr. S. is proud to be an Indian. Although he has received discrimination from the people within his community, he still sees that there is a need for him to appreciate his own culture and personality. He said that having a different culture compared to other people make his special—from his own point of view. He has the right to enjoy other things such as their festivities and gatherings.
Compared to the American custom, there are not so much beliefs that are needed to be followed. He finds the American culture as something normal not like the Indian culture that is filled with rituals, stories, poetry, festivities and a lot more. For Mr. S. belonging to a cultural group means that you are different compared to most people. He said, “If we really think about it, it is much better because it gives us a sense of belonging and attachment that we keep on yearning and finding. ” Summary The interview I have conducted was about Mr. S. He is a single Indian man that had lived in the United States for more than 10 years.
He used to stay in San Jose California and grew up there. He was able to complete his studies and have graduated college. Currently, he is working as a software engineer for a MNC which requires him to go around the country to check on their systems and etc. Analyzing Mr. S. an individual, he is someone does not open up so quickly. He need to be affirmed that the person he is talking to is worth trusting of the information that he is giving. Although needed sometime to open up to some sensitive issues, he was welcome to entertain questions about his life as an Indian living in the United States as well as his life in his native land.
The interview went very well, I could compare the whole interview with Mr. S as a small trip to India due to the amazing and interesting stories that he had imparted to me. The stories of his childhood and the India he once grew up made me imagine the place in his point of view. The place was something very different from the United States. In magazine pictures India is something that photographers present to us as a magnificent and unique place because of the culture and identity of the nation. The photographs of India, which I have seen in the past, have proven to me that Mr. S. should truly be proud of his culture.
I have learned about the culture and tradition of Indians such as their feasts and gatherings. He has also imparted some of their traditions such as the clothing, physical ornaments that are attached to the body which provides important symbols for their culture. Mr. S is so proud of his people for their intelligence and diligent actions of the nation. The development of the current India because of its desire to develop as a nation makes him pleased that changes are being attained by the current government. The development of his country makes him believe that he him self is one with the nation although he is distant.
I have learned that different people should be provided their right to express their beliefs and follow desires. In this interview I have realized this. Discrimination is one of the factors that hinder a person from expressing his belief. Just like Mr. S. when he was young, he was treated differently which made him feel unwanted and strange for he has a different physical appearance, language and etc. Learning that we all are different and we need to respect each other is a realization that we need to act on. This interview made me realize that I still have to improve on the way I see people.
I know for myself that I have nothing against other races, but there are still issues that are needed to be given attention that I am not aware. The issue of discrimination has long been present but still the problem is starting to branch out and have more separated boxes such as educational attainment, age, gender and the likes. I have realized that the current society is neglecting the fact that discrimination is starting to shift and change its path. If this is not addressed, more and more people will be marginalized. Reference (Mr. S. , personal communication, June 10, 2008)