Spanish culture has more than just the bullfighting, flamenco music and dances. Spaniards say that Spain is different in comparison to the rest of the world cultures. Spanish’s culture is generally European culture based on a number of influences. These cultures are evident in the Celts and the Iberians cultures but largely in the period of roman control. In this experimental paper, we are going to look at how the Middle Eastern culture differs from my Spanish culture (Gannon, 2009). Under the Spanish and Middle Eastern culture differences we are going to look at the following aspects; race, class, ethnicity, gender, country of origin, and cultural identity. Under the Middle Eastern individual’s culture we are going to look at the level of assimilation into the American society.
According to Gannon, Spaniards are of Caucasian race, their physical characteristics entail black/dark brown hair and they are usually have brown or mixed eyes. Their homeland is in Spain whish is located in the western of Europe and borders the Bay of Biscay, their capital is in Madrid. The official language is the Spanish, their religion 94% being in the Roman Catholics and the rest joining the rest religions. In Spaniards social life, the family is the foundation of social structure in which the nuclear and the extended family are included, in the gender equality of Spaniards, Spain is a very equalitarian community in which females are generally present at all places, therefore there is no machismo, the birth rate is among the lowest in the entire Europe.
a. The Middle Eastern culture and level of assimilation to the United States society
From a European perspective, the Middle East is a region that includes the western Asia, the northern Africa, Afghanistan and the Pakistan and other states; this is the historical origin of most of the religions like the Judaism, Christianity, Islam ad the Baha’i faith. These mainly comprise of Arabs who are generally Muslims in religion, only a small percentage of them are non Muslims. Many of these Arabs are conservative and therefore do not drink or tolerate alcohol; in addition they also do not eat pork for they believe it’s unholy. During the Ramadan they usually fast during the daytime. Those who strictly observe the religion pray about five times a day (Salzan, 2008).
In the social life and customs of the people of the Middle East, the elders have a prominent status in the Arab family due to their know-how. The entire family members turn for advice from these elders. For instance, in a country like Afghanistan, a person who is unwell in the health status, the first thing to do is turn to the elders who are family members in search for support, encouragement and advice on how to deal with the sickness. It’s a social way of life and a duty of friend and relatives of the sick to bring him or her gifs such as flowers, foodstuffs and other things for they symbolizes the sense of unity among thm. Contrary to this, among the Spaniards, the elders do not play a much significant role especially in matters concerning advice and health. This is due to the fact that Spaniards live independently in their nuclear families unlike the people from the Middle East communities (Salzan, 2008).
In the Middle East, there exists a very strong aspect of paternalism; this is the term that the western countries call the issue of male dominance or male chauvinism. The significance of balancing this subject is for clear understanding of the roles of the female gender in the society is equivalent, the woman are the maternal powerhouses in the Middle East community. The status of the Muslim woman in Middle East is very different from that of that of the Spaniards. This is mainly due to their educational and social economic background and status of the each and every woman (Salzan, 2008). Generally the Middle East society, the Islamic feminism is all over the region.
The Arabs of the Middle East immigrated to the United States during the early nineteenth century. Some left due to economic or educational reasons, for instance the Egyptians. These immigrants were mainly the individuals who were educated and those who acquire various skills and professions. The migration of people from the Middle East countries was made easier by the 1965 immigration and nationality act that allowed individuals who had professions into the United States of America. The largest of these immigrants occupied states like New Jersey, Texas, Florida, New York California and Illinois (Salzan, 2008). The main factor that they mostly looked at while making any settlement was the climate factor, this was due to the fact that the people from the Middle East are used to warm and temperate climates and for this reason they had to look for a place which would favor these conditions.
According to Salzan, their level of assimilation into the American cultures was very high. For instance, most of the immigrants from the Middle Eastern region that lived in the urban areas of the United States ceased to wear their traditional garments and got assimilated to the western code of dressing. In addition, most of the Arab churches were seen teaching the English language that was used by the American culture. This was a way of making the process of assimilation into their new American society fast thus the need to improve it via communication.
b. The description of the world views Middle Eastern people and their rituals
These immigrant’s world views were that their God was present and inevitable in day to day‘s living. They believed that everything on earth is looked upon as the God’s archetype in the sacred universe. God is viewed as the chief reality of the whole world, and human being are as a result of the of their God’s reality. This is evident in the fact that for every individual who is religious rich in the Middle Eastern culture prays at least five times a dday. Working with this type of individuals is a bit hard to cope especially when it comes to the issues of religion. Us the Spaniards being Catholics, we do not pray adequately as they do. The other reason would be on how on they would view me especially due to the fact that my gender is feminine. This is due to the fact that in their society the woman has no much say contrary to our Spaniards culture (Gannon, 2009).
c. My reason for choosing the Middle Eastern for experimental interview.
The main reason for choosing the Middle Eastern culture choice of interview is due to the my personal desire to understand why the Arabs way of life differ so much from any other culture in the terms of religion, mode of dressing and the status of the woman in the society.
d. The unexpected encounters in the interview
The main thing that was encountered with minimal expectations and did not cross my mind at any time during the interview was the significance of prayers by these individuals. I was aware that they do pray but I wasn’t aware that they are supposed to do it for five times in a single day. The strong significance of their elders was also encountered unexpectedly.
e. Any prejudices included that I had
The main prejudices of the middle eastern culture was the way they viewed the role of the woman as a tool for childbearing and that she was under the rule of the husband.
f. Source of stress and strengths of the middle eastern cultures
In the culture of the people from Middle East, their main stress was the enquiry for advice from the elders of the extended family. Still, the fact that they live together as an extended family do not impress me for it hinders privacy and independency of thoughts. The last stress was the mode of dressing that to me seems uncomfortable especially when making movements. However, they have strengths like the unity that existed among them. When one member of the society gets sick, it’s the obligation of all the family members and close friends to see him or her at the hospital with presents for the sick. The other strength was how religious they are, they respect and honor their God so much and believe that God is the provider of everything (Salzan, 2008).
Having looked at the m idle eastern cultures, we can finalize by saying that these Arabs have a culture that is very rich and that they ensure that it must be maintained. It’s also clear how their culture varies from the Spaniard cultures in matters of religion, status of the female gender in the society and other things. However, we have seen of how they assimilate themselves in a fast rate to the American society. This is due to the need to fit an effectively get assimilated in their new society which has different cultures.