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Personal Narrative A Lesson In Culture Shock

1068 words - 4 pages

Personal Narrative- A Lesson in Culture Shock

“ You want to be the same as American girls on the outside.” (Tan, Amy) Like Tan in her narrative “Fish Cheeks”, everyone has had a time in their lives when they wanted to fit in at school or home. Sometimes it is hard to try to blend into the surroundings. Moving from Boston to Tallahassee has taught me a lot about such things like honor, pride, and self-reliance. Such is related to us in Wilfred Owens’s “Dulce et Decorum est” which is about his experience in World War I. Sometimes experiences such as moving can teach more about life than any long lecture from any adult. As the old saying goes: “Actions speak louder than words.”

Growing up in Boston for thirteen years did not prepare for what life had in store for me. I moved here two months before I was to begin the eighth grade. Culture shock does not even begin to describe what I felt. Where had my parents stuck me? Why did we have to leave our apartment in the city to move to what I refer to as “The old acreage house” in the boonies? Moreover, like many middle aged people going through their mid-life crisis: Why me? I know what George Orwell must have been feeling in “Shooting in Elephant” and “The Hanging”. He was of European descent and he was in the middle of Burma experiencing an “Anti-European” feeling. Isn’t it weird the way fate cold possible mix two totally unrelated things together?

It certainly got worse after September 11. Who knew that many of the people who I would later become friends with or classmates of could be so hateful?

“Hey are you Muslim?

“No, why?

“If you are, I’d hurry up and leave the country- Osama Bin Laden.”

Let me give you a little taste of my background. My mother happens to be Puerto Rican and my dad is Mexican. By the way, those two countries are in the Western Hemisphere and the Middle East is on the other side of the world. So exactly, how am I from there? Besides, I am a United States citizen since I was born here, so why would I leave my home country again? This experience has taught me that ignorance can be very dangerous. I received many threats, including being threatened to be shot at school. I felt just like Hope in “The Train from Hate”(Hope, Fran, because in all the years that I have been alive I had never experienced such prejudice. I began to question myself and realized that although I am not Muslim, I could show those people who wanted me to leave that I was a worthwhile person, so I became part of the dance team and was on yearbook staff.

As time went by, things got better or at least for me they did. Last year I started to become more involved in church and at my church we have lots of migrant workers and their families that go there. I see them as fellow worshipers of the same God who were created equally to me. The sad reality is that we...

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