This one was from my Intercultural Understanding class. A brief background about that class: Just like its name, it taught us about many cultures around the world and around us. In addition to that, it also taught us to be considerate and to be understanding to other people’s culture. This essay was talking about Intercultural MISunderstanding based on our (my) own experience. This essay is talking about my experience with my grandmother. Now, like any other essays out there, this one is not scientific or whatsoever. This is purely my own opinion about things. I just need to put this here, because I’m paranoid like that. So, gogogo!
I was just got home after cremating my deceased grandfather, when my grandmother asked me to wash my face, hands, and feet before entering the house. I did as I was told but with a question inside my head. Then my grandmother told me that we needed to eat noodles after that. Because the curiosity was bugging me, I asked her why we should do that. Why should we eat noodles after cremating somebody and why should we wash our face, hands, and feet before entering the house. Her answer was simple. She said strictly, “Just do as you’re told.” When I pushed in about the noodles, she said, “You like noodles, right? Then just do as you’re told and eat it!” I kept my mouth shut after that. I joked about it with my mother later that day and she said that old people was taught like that. That was why my grandmother and I had different reactions about the matter at hand.
In my opinion, this incident between me and my grandmother is an intercultural misunderstanding. That is because we came from different age and generation as well as a different background of education. Normally, children in the past did not dare to question their parents, but even if they did ask, their parents would just say exactly the same like my grandmother did. Nowadays, people are freer to sound their opinions despite their young age and also more eager to search for the answer. If they do not know about something than they will say that they do not know but then they will find the answer in one way or another. I dare say that people are being more and more rational each time. People nowadays tend to ask more questions than people in the past.
This incident with my grandmother also made me think about how reversed our roles are. In the past, as a child, my grandmother would not dare to even raise a simple question about her parents’ action. Even if her parents beat her, she would not fight. That is why she did not have the answer to my questions because she simply did not know how to answer that. She was raised with that belief and she just did as she told. But now, I am raised in a more democratic family even though my parents are still a little bit old fashioned, at least they are trying to ease the do-as-you’re-told culture from our family. They teach me to speak my mind up and to state my opinion without being disrespectful to the elderly. With these differences, of course both I and my grandmother have different point of view of things.
After the incident with my grandmother, I felt ridiculous, because I cannot accept the reason given by my grandmother. I still feel curious about the real reason. I think that is because the reason my grandmother gave me was not sufficient enough to answer my question. But I know now that our differences are not something that is wrong. We simply have a different background of life and era. So, even if I feel amused by her answer it is not right for me to judge her opinion because it is her way of thinking just like I have my own way of thinking.