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Carlos Mauricio Calderón
Professor Oviedo
Seminar of Culture
Final project
Nov 17th, 2010


You deal with lot of things daily, things that can annoy you or just blast your day. But something that can make you lose your head, is deal with yourself, deal with what you really are. Around the whole world there have been, there are, and there will be people who face theirselves,people who ignored their roots, but now they found them, people who are fighting to keep their cultures pure, people who have loosen their identity, people who have forgotten where they were came from, people who survive in a jungle of differences, called cultures. Such cultures are compound by several elements that determine a certain pattern of behavior; these patterns vary depend on the individualexperiences that each person as a member of a community has; such elements of culture are universal, some of them are: language, norms, values, roles, religion, beliefs, political organization, etc.

The movie “Spanglish” is a good example of what happened when someone face another culture; the movie talks about a Mexican woman, called Flor, decided to travel with her little daughter, namedCristina, with the purpose of find a better life. Being there, Flor stayed in her cousin’s home, in a Latin neighborhood, so she didn’t feel the chanced at all; but Flor were so worry about her daughter loses their roots, “…to raise me properly, my mother needed the safety of her culture” (this means she wanted her daughter keeps the same values, norms, religion and thoughts of Mexican culture).Then, she had to find a better job because the money was not enough to cover all expenses; so, her cousin found her a job in an American family house as a maid. When she had de interview with the family member she had be in company of her cousin because she didn’t speak English (her cousin was her translator) even so, she got the job. When Deborah, the family’s mother, told her she had gotten thejob, she finalized the sentence kissing Flor on her mouth, Flor was very surprised and got kind of confused (For Deborah this kiss just mean a sign of gratification, but to Flor a kiss on the mouth means passion and love because her culture connotations) “A very interesting kind of trouble spot is seen when any element of the form of a complex pattern has different classification or meaning acrosscultures…” (Robert Lado.2001).

Being at work, she had many troubles at the time to communicate with family members, but the universal language (body language) played an important role in her process of adaptation while she learned the language. Then, after some days she began to handle her duties, but the family had some internal problems (family problems), and Flor noticed their way of manageproblems, she though their way of do thing was weird “When we visit people from other cultures, we quickly become aware that they do things according to their own set of rules, which may be very different from ours.” (Mary Fjeldstad). 2004). Some weeks later Flor seemed to be in an assimilation process of the American culture (Flor was acquiring some customs that she learned from the Americanfamily), because her daughter noticed that she began to do some things at home that were not usual and that maybe broke home’s rules “…She was broken her roles”. At summer, the American Family decided to pass the summer at house very near of the beach, but the problem was that Flor had to move to summer’s house with the family; but she didn’t want to move because she didn’t want her daughter interactwith the American culture in a deep way; but finally she had to accept it because if she didn’t accept it she lost her job (Here, we can see the need of Flor keeps safe her roots reflected in her daughter).

Sometime later, living daily misunderstandings situations at her job, she decided to learn English by herself, so she bought a home curse of English; weeks later, she got enough English...
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