This I Believe

Neetikarn - Ravensdale, Washington
Entered on April 30, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Understanding the different is my belief

Since I came to America as an exchange student, the understanding is hard for me. Everything is so complicated. Understanding the different of people is very important for me to live with others. I cannot find any of Thai people in this area at all. I have to be in the new surrounding without anyone who can help me in term of language and culture.

How can I get through it? I feel lucky that I have some Basic English that helps me understand a little bit but not fluently. I cannot even catch up when people start talking. First day when I got here, I just only smiled at my host family because I did not get anything that they said. They spoke fast until I told them I did not understand what they talked anymore. After that they slow down and it was better. When I attend in Tahoma High School, There are some Asians, Europeans and Mexicans students at school, especially people from Japan and Mexico. I had to listen to them really carefully.

Not only language, but also culture which is really hard to understand. Asian culture is more respectful but American everyone is equal. It seems like there is less respectful with the older. Another one which is showing the house, I felt bad at first time when my friend from France came over to my house. He ran to my bedroom. I yelled at him because I did not expect that he wanted to come to my room which is private for me. He said it was okay for him to so that. I had to explain my culture that it was rude to come to someone’s bedroom like that. Now we are close friend so I do not care about that anymore. The relationship is the most complicated thing for me in here. I saw so many people hug and kiss each other without feeling weird, especially boys and girls who are not dating. I thought that they are cheating on their couples. So I asked my host family about that they laughed at me and told me that some people are really close to each other so they show their love that way. Now I understand that a little bit about hug but not kiss because it is still awkward.

Because of living in the US such a melting pot. There are a lot of people from many countries and variety of cultures. The understanding is not hard to do it but it takes time to accept it as well. It depends on people to open their mind to get to know more the diversity all around the globe and bring peaceful to the community called ‘the world’.