- Politics and Social Issues
Living the American way of life
Living the American way of life
The American way of life is characterized by an openness and accommodation. It is not at all difficult for acculturation because it embodies practices and lifestyles which are easy to adapt too. In the process of acculturation it is up to the individual to know which values to use and give importance too. It is more advantageous to adapt yet preserving good values you have brought into the system.
When we say way of life, it is describing the culture of a group of people in a particular place. What is a culture? Culture is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group. It is the way you do things, like for example culture of eating. Festivities and holidays are also part of culture. Beliefs, like religious belief is part of culture.
Living the American way of Life
We know for a fact that when we say Americans, we are dealing with multitudes of different people that comprises the nation. Ask every American and they will tell you, a part of their ancestry is Europeans, Africans and some Asians. There are native Americans too. America is a melting pot of all people with different ethnic background.
This is my own perspective of American way of life being a Filipino immigrant. I like the way the kind of life here gives so many choices and you are free to become the way you want to be.
Living the American way of life in terms of food -- Fast food is the way to go. Every corner or every street in America has a fast food. Burgers and fries ----Mc Donalds, Burger king, Whataburger, Taco Bell, pizzas--Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, Dominoes, sweets-- IHop, Dennys etc. Mc Donalds is the favorite place to go. Hamburgers, fries and Coke or Mountain dew is the basic meal. Oh, I cant finish a quarter pounder, it is too big for me, I always keep it and eat the rest later. There are a lots of ice cream, cakes, chocolates and candies. Wow, yum, yum, yum. They sell everything sweet. I see all the variety and the likes in every store and I am thinking this is like heaven for a child. Of course I am still thinking how it will affect the general health of people.
American culture is very accommodating, you can find lots of restaurant for Asians, Latinos and Italians, Australians, English, French etc., you name it. And mind you, Americans love beer too. Miller, Budweiser, lagers, Heineken are some few popular beers. Since I am in Texas, I drink Corona -- Mexican beer (almost the same taste as San Miguel Beer in the Philippines) from time to time too.
American style breakfast are pancakes, syrup, sausage , bacon strips, and fried eggs. Let us not forget turkey too on Thanksgiving and fried chicken. There are many varieties of fruits, oranges, grapes, apple, cherries, blueberries. When I came here it is the first time I saw the last three fruits, we don’t plant those fruits in the Philippines. Sometimes, I go to Asian store and experiment on mixing available vegetables with Asian sauce. The thing here is that all things are bigger, eggplants, apples, onions, garlic etc. It is like triple the size of the fruits and vegetables I am used to. This is also true in Europe, this is maybe because they have different kind of agriculture, or better technology and that’s why they can make small fruits variety bigger and juicier at the same time. Organic foods are more expensive though, so the more poorer you are, you don't have a choice but to eat what you can afford.
I still cooked rice and eat it everyday though, I am so glad you can buy it anywhere, I buy mine at Wal-mart or Asian store.
Living the American way of life -- Sports
Americans love sports too like the Britons and Aussies. I guess all people in the world are addicted to some kind of sports which they are more attuned to. Football, baseball and basketball are the most famous sports here. Most like wrestling too, if you would consider that a sports. Sunday from early September to Super bowl in February are considered holy Sunday for football fans. It is a joke that even when you go naked in front of your partner on that day (Super Bowl), he will not blink an eye away from the TV. It goes with beer drinking too while watching the sports.
Well I watched wrestling even before. I like watching basketball, National Basketball Association (NBA) before I went here but I came to like football and now it is my favorite game. I am a sucker for sports that is based on body contact, like hockey and rugby too. Hmmm, that’s why I like to watch wrestling?
Living the American way of life -- The people and the language
People are very friendly and accommodating. When you asked them questions they wont hesitate answering you voluntarily and they will talk in a loud voice and with confidence. Men and women have confidence in telling somebody off too. I also learn about “personal space”. Their houses are built apart, majority of backyards are not fenced at all. They stand up with two legs apart and talked with clarity too. Of course not all people are good, there are also rude, like in any other culture. They laugh out loud and knows how to have humor. Amusing when you go to a bar and they are all laughing at the same time. They greet you everywhere, saying “Wazz up”? Well I learn how to respond now, I say, I am good, how are you doing is a basic response. I can more understand slang now and the difference between a drink, soda or colas. They call it soda down the south and cola in the north. The famous words like the B or F or other words are just expression. They say those words when they are surprised, get angry or just a way of disbelief. Every other culture has a way of expression of cursing etc.
Children speak their mind too. I came form a culture where we are not allowed to talk when our parents are talking to a visitor, but here children are outspoken and very independent too. And of course children are kicked out of their house when they are 18, but I know this is case to case basis.
Living the American way of life -- Family and community
The concept of family is also a close ties sort of thing although comparing to Asian type of course the latter is more closely tight. There are advantages and disadvantages in both side of the spectrum.
A family here includes a pet, dog for most. It is a constant companion in the house and they are part of the family. For some, it is considered as one of their child.
The concept of family in Asian countries is stretched up to the nth degree of consanguinity and beyond blood relations. The person in other village is considered still a family and your neighbor of course. The community is wide and when a person gets married in the rural areas, all the people in the village are invited. Your neighbor is still a family. When you get hungry, you just knocked on your neighbors house and you can eat there in their house. Of course here in the US people are more individualistic and consider family as those who are in the second degree of blood relations. This is also good as when you are not expecting anybody to help you, you will become independent. But this is case to case basis, and like what I have said, there are advantages to it as well as disadvantages.
Like any other immigrant or people introduced to a new culture, we try to get and be adapted to the prevailing culture but at the same time preserving what you perceived as a good trait and make the most of it--living the American way of life.