Peter has got mixed feelings about different cultures. He says that even though it gives individuals something to relate to, it also creates a lot of issues. These issues happen when a person doesn’t agree with their culture and tries to break away from it.
He believes that in most cases their families end up judging them for their differences and that leads to conflict. He also thinks that there wouldn’t be that much conflict in between different cultures, if it weren’t for the culture itself.In the interview Peter mentioned that his family was influenced by culture in the ways they marked celebrations and festivals. Every member of the family was required to attend family gatherings during birthdays or christenings, Christmas or weddings. He also mentioned that his paternal side of family is very close knit and that his cousins lived close by. Growing up, Peter had to follow certain norms in his family. Children in his family, when he was growing up, were seen not heard.
There was no talking back. Discipline was very important and rules were to be followed. Problems were solved within family and seeking outside help was seen as weakness. Peter and his family also did a lot of travelling together. When he was in his early teenage years they travelled all around Europe and China.He remembers feeling extremely angry with his parents when even as a young adult, he couldn’t make his own plans for spending a Sunday afternoon, as he had to be present at a family lunch nearly every Sunday. He felt so pressured to do it, that he was unable to say ‘no’ to his parents. The lesson he learnt from these experiences was that he would never make his children do things only because their culture ‘required’ it.
He believes that everyone has the right of choice regardless of his or her culture.He feels that his interactions with his grandparents and the rest of the extended family has never been as genuine as they could have been, if his parents didn’t make him visit them every weekend. He said that he never really felt like chatting to them, as most of the time he wanted to be out with his friends instead and was always impatiently waiting for lunch to be over. As a result of that, he still finds family meals as something negative. When he hears that his friends are meeting their family for lunch, he can’t help but feel sorry for them, even if that’s something they enjoy doing. And Peter himself spends most of his weekends doing things as opposite to that as possible, for example plays soccer, goes out with friends, goes to the beach, etc.His suggestion of lessening the impact of cultural divides was rather ambitious.
He believes that the cultural differences and the issues that come along with them will not disappear until the different cultures themselves disappears. He does understand that it is close to impossible but feels that there is no other way of avoiding cultural divides. Interviewee Two – Miriam: Ethnical Background: Lebanese born, she and her family came to Australia fleeing Lebanon during war.Strong cultural values held by her family made her grow up in a very closed and small community. Miriam personally doesn’t agree with being raised that way and believes that, if there are other cultures existing around, people should be exposed to them as well. She was not aware of other cultures around her when growing up, as she was schooled in an Armenian school and was brought up in a Lebanese neighbourhood. That way she only got to see a minority of her own culture and was not allowed to experience any other cultures. Hence she believes that she would be better off growing up in Lebanon, as at least then she would have experienced every part of her culture because she would have been exposed to her grandparents’ and cousins’ influence.
Whilst growing up, Miriam believed that it was wrong to accept other cultures and to make friends with people from them. She believes that most children from her culture were raised and educated that way. She came across different cultures in high school and that’s when she started to challenge her believes and accept other societies.
Even though it was against her parents, that new discovery was so exciting for her; it encouraged her get to know the ‘outside world’ better.