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Cultural Differences

The world is made up of different cultures. These cultures define values and set moral standards under which the members of the individual community are expected to uphold. Failure to uphold these cultural values makes an individual an outcast in his or her community. Cultures differ from one community to another. As a result of globalization, the world is like a village and people from various parts of the globe are able to share different cultural values through intermarriage and other forms of interactions. Despite cultural interchange, studies have shown that the majority of people are comfortable with people from their own communities or race.  The thesis statement for this essay will be, “human beings are most comfortable with people of their own kind”.  This statement is true and can be proved by analyzing the essay by Tan and Angelou.

In her essay ‘Champion of the World’ Angelou narrates her childhood life. From her childhood story, one can be able to note the cultural differences, as well as similarities between the white American and black Americans.  First African has communal value whereby they take the success of one of their own as a communal success. This can be seen by the boxing contest between Joe and the white contender, when Joe was been defeated by his opponent the audience in the store was getting worried, “the audience was under tremendous pressure.” However, when Joe manages to lift the world boxing championship the black people celebrates the victory as a communal victory.  Another common cultural difference between the whites and the blacks is that the black value each other while the white do not value those who are not of their own. Some of the audience in the store did take the fight as an opportunity for them to show that they are also equals with whites. The whites perceive themselves as superior to all other communities whereby they take other people from other communities as slaves. This is seen in the narration by Angelou whereby the black had some hatred toward the white people because of how they were mistreating them. During the fight, the black people who were gathered in the store were backing one of their own as they were of the view that, if one of their own wins the fight, the white will stop seeing them as inferiors.

The author says, “my race groaned,” this a sign that black people have a culture of suffering together with one of their own who is in pain. This is evident throughout the fight where the audience in the store is shares both in the suffering and the victory of one of their own.

On the other hand, Tan in her article,” Fish cheeks,” reveals to us how other communities sees the white culture as a superior culture. The narrator sees the Chinese dinner that they have prepared for their guest as been very inferior. She thinks that their guests who are white will not appreciate their dinner, and she is worried about what Robert will think of her inferior cultural food.  This is also evident where the author says, “What will Robert think of our miserable Chinese charismas dinner.” This is a sign that the authors community thought of the white culture as been superior to their culture. The people from other cultures value the white culture and want to be like the white, for instance, the narrator wants to be like the white so that she may be appreciated by the whites to be one of their own. The narrator is given a miniskirt by her mother to look like the whites, “but be like the white in looks, but be a Chinese in your heart,” this is an evident of what people want to be like the white among the Chinese.

In conclusion, it is true that an individual is only comfortable among people of his own kind because they share common interests and values as evident in the two articles.  In addition, people may feel secure when interacting with people of their own kind because mutual respect thrives among them.

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