Joining a new culture My week in colorado

Joining a new culture can happen in different countries, but for me it happened in the same country, where I am living right now. I spent the last week of march in Colorado and it was a new cultural experience for me.

"Look into deep nature...and then you will understand everything better." - Albert Einstein

The environment

Colorado is a state full of nature. Comparing California to Colorado, you will find a lot of green places and the state is also noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, forests, high plains, mesas, canyons, plateaus, rivers, and desert lands. Besides that the air is so much different, because Colorado has the highest altitude level in whole America.

The flag of Colorado

The people and their lifestyle

Everybody was very nice to me and I felt very familiar with Colorado. Well, sometimes it was kind of a cultureshock, because some things were totally new for me and the behaviour of the Colorado people is definitely different to the Californian people. First of all, the food is way different to the food I know from California. "Coloradans" eat a lot of meat, especially pork, elk or sometimes bison. The portions are very big and everything is very "country style". For example the music was different to what I've known from California. Country music is very popular in Colorado and you will find a lot of farmers out there. Furthermore how people drive their cars there is so much different than what we know from California. It seems like everybody takes their time and is never in a rush. You can also say that Colorado is not that busy like California. While the californian residents like to go to the beach, the Colorado residents enjoy hiking and climbing. I went to the Rocky Mountains National Park and did a lot of Mountain climbing, it was awesome. I think the activity level there is very high and you can do so many different things. This is also a reason, why the obesity level is so low: "According to several studies, Coloradans have the lowest rates of obesity of any state in the US." (wikipedia).

What I learned from my interview

Before I shot a gun for the first time, I had some serious talks with a Colorado resident, who is allowed to carry a gun all the time. I asked him about the feeling, having a gun always ready and explained that I'm absolutely against weapons. It was a totally new feeling, holding a real gun in my hand and I'm not proud of it. He tried to explain that unfortunately the wrong people in our world are using guns and other weapons. He thought that if he has a gun, he is always ready to protect himself or his family. On the other hand he did unterstand my concerns, but also said that he grew up in Colorado, where it's allowed to carry a gun. In my eyes, this was one of the biggest cultural differences that I experienced. Not just in comparison to California also in comparison to Germany. I recognized the Social Science Perspective: "The social science perspective emphasizes that identity is created in part by the self and in part in relation to group membership" (Nakamaya, 163) - I think Colorado residents really identify theirselves with the state and their lifestyles.

First time shooting a gun

Cultural differences between my culture and their culture

To live and do all the things, that my friends in Colorado did was not easy for me. I never did mountain climbing before, I never shot a gun and I also never ate brisket before. Of course, you can go climbing in Europe, but the food and also the opinion about weapons is so much different. I also felt that the people there have a strong faith and praying to God is very important for them. In some ways I had the feeling that our society in Europe is more developed, but sometimes I felt the other way around. I still can't understand, how the people there can go out into the woods and shoot elks or deers for fun. On the other hand I was happy to make some of these experiences, because it opened my eyes about the world, how different it is and especially how I am. I think this one week broadened my mind and I'm thankful for the opportunity to see a whole different part of America.

  • Martin, Judith, and Thomas Nakayama. Intercultural Communication in Contexts. 5th ed. McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2010. Print.

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.