We rarely examine our own cultural assumptions and values until we are exposed to another culture. In order to provide the best service, it is essential for us to become more self-aware and more thoughtful to our ethnically and culturally diverse values. There are cultural differences between the Hispanic and American cultures. American culture is usually work-centered, and time is usually carefully and linearly divided; one must fit one’s needs to specific deadlines and schedules. In contrast, Hispanic culture is usually relationship oriented, and time is relatively expandable and contracting. Time and human needs are usually very valuable, thus deadlines can be changed. In American culture, greetings are usually in the form of a solid handshake, while in Hispanic culture greetings involve a gentler handshake, hug and a kiss on the cheek. Maintaining a direct eye contact is a sign of honesty, respect and attention among the American, while in Hispanic, averting one’s eye shows respect to the elder or a person of authority.
In the concept of the family, nuclear family is the common type in American culture. In addition, independency is usually encouraged in American culture. In contrast, extended families that include friends and neighbors are evident in Hispanic culture; children’s independence is usually viewed as being disloyal to the family. In terms of orientation, American culture focuses on the individual independence and personal fulfillment. In Hispanic, the culture focuses on the core group hence support achievement of group harmony. In authority and social organization, people are normally viewed as being equal in American culture, and authority is usually subject to challenge. In contrast, power is usually centralized in Hispanic culture.
After communicating with Protestants, I noted enormous differences between the Catholic and Protestants. One of the differences is the issue of authority and sufficiency of scripture. Protestants believe that Bible is the only sole source of distinctive revelation of God to mankind, which means that it teaches all that is essential for deliverance from sin. In addition, they also view Bible as a standard by which the behavior of Christians should be measured. In contrast, Catholics reject this doctrine, and do not solely believe that Bible alone is sufficient. Catholics believe that both the sacred Roman Catholic tradition and the Bible are equally binding upon the Christian. These doctrines involve purgatory, worship or the veneration of Mary and praying to the saints. Another difference is usually over the authority of the pope. Catholics believe that the pope is representative of Christ as the head of the church. Protestants believe that no human being is infallible and binding upon all Christians. Therefore, they reject the idea of pope as a Vicar of Christ (James 103).
The way church services are conducted in Catholic churches differs from the way they are conducted in Protestant ones. Catholics, openly practice praying to the saints, while praying to the saints in Protestants is usually rejected. Protestants usually confess their sins to God himself while in Catholics normally do it through to the priest. Attending a protestant service is a great experience, since one gets an opportunity to experience spiritual satisfaction in a different way. An individual is not normally alienated because there are typically some similarities between these two denominations. For instance, they both follow the Bible and believe that Jesus is the son of God. They also teach that God is a trinity and that all human souls are immortal. In addition, they also believe in the resurrection of the body and existence of everlasting life.
Homosexuality was the chief term that was used to pronounce gays between 1950s and 1960s. After this point a different gay culture was introduced. This new-fangled gay culture progressively marks a full range of their social and cultural life. This involves social practices and gay neighbors that are distinguishable from Hispanic culture. In 1990 and early 20th century, gay cultures were exceedingly covert and depended on the use of secret codes and symbols which were woven into an overall straight context.
Gay men mostly associate and use media such as opera, fine cuisine, ballet and the golden age of Hollywood to send their signals. Most of the gay men prefer having their clothes and costumes designed by men. There are also some subcultures in the gay culture. They include chubbies and bears. Most gay members practice monogamous relationships. Gay culture can be perceived in contrast with the Hispanic culture which emphasizes on marrying a person of the opposite sex.
Disabled people may come from diverse communities. However, they hold some beliefs, cultures and traditions. The disabled person that I interviewed believed that the cause of his disability was as a result of a curse by a family member after he disagreed with something. He also believed that being disabled does not mean being dependent on others for food or anything. He believed that a disability is not inability. People with a disability have experienced a tradition where they find their opportunities limited because of social rejection, architectural barriers, inaccessibility to transport and discrimination in employment.
In the Hispanic community, culture, tradition, beliefs and perception towards disability is varied. Hispanic view the issue of disability as a result of natural cause through accidents, abnormalities during birth and self-instigated disability where people’s lifestyles lead to disability.
Among the black Americans, there are both the positive and negative effects of growing old. Physical effects are that an individual becomes weak and carrying out some of the daily chores becomes a problem. Another negative effect of growing old is that one becomes susceptible to psychological diseases. There are also what the Afro Americans believe are positive effects of one growing old. They believe that as one becomes old, his social interaction with other members of the community broadens. They say this because they believe that old age comes with wisdom and therefore other members of the community will always seek your guidance on various matters.
On their perception about cultural values and beliefs, they believe that these are important pillars in the community because they shape up the communities. They believe that culture and beliefs are things that people should hold dear and that they should not let external forces change them. The elderly in the Afro American accept that as an old person, proper help should be accorded to them. On matters pertaining to death, they believe that people should not die when they are young and that they should die peacefully, having attained at least seventy five years. According to Hispanics, most of the Afro American culture is similar to their. Hispanics believe that the elderly should be helped and handled with care.