My experience with cultural differences is that people come from different backgrounds, and each of those backgrounds has its own customs and beliefs, but what seems to bind people in the younger generation more than their backgrounds is their age. In other words, even though my group of friends comes from a range of racial and ethnic backgrounds, we all speak the same “language” when we are interacting with each other.
Some of these friends come from families that were not originally from the United States, and their parents speak another language besides English, and some other of my friends come from different parts of the country and speak with different accents. When they are with their families in their homes, the original language or dialect is also spoken. However, when we all spend time together, we use the same type of slang and expressions, mostly coming from hip-hop, so that any cultural differences disappear when my friends and I are together. It sounds like we are all from the same place.
When I observe my friends with their families, their ethnic backgrounds are much more obvious as if when their parents are around, they return to their roots and express themselves very differently. I don’t think that they are aware of how different they are when they are back in the “nest”. That is because some of culture’s knowledge, rules, beliefs, values, phobias and anxieties are taught explicitly, most is absorbed subconsciously (Goman., 2011.) I know that I come from an Italian family, and even though my parents are first-generation Americans, my grandparents speak with strong Italian accents, and they have a lot of the behaviors and traditions that they brought from the old country.
When my parents and I are with them, it is clear that we are all from Italian backgrounds, and I notice that I revert back into their speech patterns and other ways of expressing myself. Then when I’m back with my friends, I, along with the rest of them, are all speaking almost identically, so that the cultural backgrounds fade away and we are simply a generation of young Americans talking the same talk.
- Goman, C. (2011, November 28). How Culture Controls Communication. Retrieved from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolkinseygoman/2011/11/28/how-culture-controls-communication/