My encounter of cross-culture with a British man

Essay by michiko_85College, UndergraduateC-, April 2006

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I had an experience of a cross-culture with a British man in Miri. Miri in my own description would be a wonderful place to live in, as it is a small town, no traffic jams, with beautiful beaches and lots more. But what surprised me was that, a British man, a friend of my mum, described Miri as, "What is this? What is that?" It was his first time visiting Malaysia and to him it was rather a great shock. When we brought him to the house, his first impression was, " Are you guys living in jail?" What made him say that was because he was shocked to see grills attached to the windows and doors to my house. And to add to his astonishment, there were also walls around the house compound and a large gate at the entrance too. As Schirato & Yell (2000, p.58) explains,

For example, associated with institutions such as the law, religion, the education system and the family are discourses or ways of speaking which

are characteristic of those institution and their practices."

It is obvious to me that the way he voiced out expressing what he felt was rather blunt to which shows how the western's culture of "open-minded" people is. As it is contrary in Malaysia as Malaysians feel that there are times when we should not be frank to avoid offending and misunderstanding people depending on the situation.

Upon entering our house, my mother politely asked him to take off his shoes as it is one of our culture (in my family) to take off our shoes before entering the house. He unbelievingly asked, "What?" but without much hesitation took off his shoes. Schirato &; Yell (2000, p. 42) explains that, "habitus can be understood as a set of values...