Every culture has their behavior patterns, or cultural norms. These behaviors have been learned from their parents, teachers, peers, and others whose beliefs, values, and attitudes have been ingrained in them since birth from their culture. Many people are not aware of their cultural norms until they see another culture with different values and beliefs. There are 3 primary dimensions of culture. These are language, physical, and psychological. Language is used for people with similar beliefs and values in order to communicate. Environment and cultural activities are physical dimensions. The psychological dimension consists of our beliefs and mental activities. By connecting these 3 dimensions, we are able to communicate effectively with other cultures but only if we understand our own culture first.
In 1984, I moved from Minnesota to the Texas-Mexico border and settled in Weslaco, Texas. I married into a Hispanic family and found the culture to be very interesting.
Many of the Hispanic holidays are the same as the American culture, but they celebrate in different ways. The Hispanic culture typically does not wait for Santa to arrive on Christmas Eve before opening their gifts. The gifts are opened on Christmas Eve and they celebrate the day with the women making tamales which are traditional Mexican food. This was somewhat hard for me as Christmas Eve for me was usually spent searching shopping malls for last minute gifts. Easter is celebrated much like the American culture with an Easter egg hunt and party on Easter day. However, their Easter eggs are filled with confetti and broken over each others heads after the hunt.
It was very difficult for me when I first got married as I did not speak the language. Many times I would feel like the others were talking behind my back or making fun...