Culture Shock

Having been raised in a traditional Mexican family, I thought that growing up I had a good understanding about the Mexican culture and families. However, I was seriously mistaken upon returning to Mexico for a family vacation. I was expecting to go across the border and experience things similar to what we have in the States, but that was not the case. The experience is completely different and charmingly appealing. The infrastructure is nothing compered to what we have here, the family values are very different and how people would spend their time.

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When I first arrived in Mexico I was shocked at their way of living. Just seeing the buildings that they call home was enough. The roads were just as bad. Seeing these things for the first time was a he eye opener. The houses were practically falling apart. As we were driving through the town to get to my aunts house, I was thinking to myself “So this what my parents called home.” And at that moment I started to feel more thankful for everything I had back home.

In Mexico I also realized that the value family over individualism. For example, after being at my aunt’s house for a while I asked my cousin if she ever planned to get married (that’s me knowing that she is already 32 years old). She replied to me “No I don’t, because then that would mean that I would have to move out with my husband and leave my parents.” I was completely shocked by this because I never thought of my parents in that way. In Mexico they find it shameful to put elderly people in nursing homes. This made me think “Would I be a horrible person if I dare to think of putting and older family member I a nursing home?”

When I was in Mexico I was so surprised that I would have this part of a culture shock. People in Mexico do almost the exact same thing that we do here for fun (depending on their money situations). They go to the movies, and parties and they go to the mall that they have there.

Everyone in this world goes through culture shock at one point in his or her life. And it usually is with another culture completely different than theirs. Mine just happened to be the same as my culture. After experiencing this culture shock I felt like I wasn’t really connected to my roots and that I felt more “Americanized”. Just because I look ‘Mexican’ and speak Spanish and eat Mexican foods doesn’t make me like the people who live in Mexico. Seeing their infrastructure and the way they value family and how they spend their free time made the realize that its good to be different, because that way you can enlighten all kinds of people with your personal experiences.

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Aaron Zuniga-Bennett

Adlerian Theory and Models of Counseling