What Time Does The Football Game Start On Thanksgiving Multicultural Chaos

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Multicultural Chaos

There we were, newly married, thousands of miles away from each of our homes, in Durham, NC, where he was in medical school. My husband was from Texas and I was from the North Shore of Chicago. We ourselves came from two different cultures and now we were together in a new culture. It was culture shock upon culture shock as we adjusted to each other and to the cosmopolitan student body at Duke Medical School.

CULTURE LEARNED

Culture is something we learn. It is not related to race or ethnicity, religion or anything else, but it comes from all of these groups, and especially if we have lived in only one place, moved in only one social group and/or have not been exposed to other cultures. we tend to hold our culture sacred. However, the other person too!

As we move into an exciting new world of global collaboration, there will be cultural clashes. Let’s continue this through my Thanksgiving Tale.

Players

The first Thanksgiving came and friends from New England invited us along with 6 other couples. Guests included a man from the Dominican Republic married to a woman from Spain; a couple from Missouri; a New York man married to a woman from Brazil; two French Canadians from Quebec; and two Australians who were not medical students but close friends. The religions represented were Protestantism, Catholicism and Judaism. And I should add that it included men and women.

As friends, we all talked to each other before, during and after the event. A lot of it had to do with understanding what was going on with all these nations. We split into factions over what was “right” and what was “wrong,” often switching sides on different issues.

TIME AND ATTITUDE

– Why afternoon? – asked my husband. “When do we eat?” My husband liked everything arranged without surprises. I was more flexible, but I wanted to dive in and learn, so I called the host. “This buffet,” she said. I fished around for more information, like when we should leave and what I can bring, hopefully she’ll reveal the menu. His answers were typically New England, short and concise.

– You didn’t understand anything? asked my husband when I returned empty-handed.

“He hasn’t decided to do anything,” I said. “I did the best I could.”

“Why didn’t you just ask him questions?” he said.

“Because it’s rude,” I said.

“You are very polite,” he answered.

“Then you will call next time,” I said.

“It’s a woman’s job,” he answered.

We and the Missourians arrived at 11:11, which was our cultural order; leave a few minutes late to allow the host and hostess to make last minute adjustments, but no more than 15 minutes late. French Canadians and Australians arrived here about 30 minutes later. The couples who were Latino arrived an hour or two later in the afternoon.

“How rude,” said the New Yorker. “How can we plan? What do you do when you call Gonzalez?”

“Calm down,” said the Australians. “We all have kids. Things happen.”

The French Canadians chatted to each other in French, displeased at their delay, then smiled and told us, “Wasn’t it a wonderful Thanksgiving,” and avoided the conflict.

The Latins did not notice that their wanderings were unusual.

How we treat time varies greatly across cultures. When the Latins arrived, we had cocktail hour and were ready to eat, but felt they should have time to drink and chat a bit. It was an awkward moment. There was also a football match somewhere, the timing of which got messy.

“Don’t worry about the football game,” the Dominican said. “It’s Thanksgiving.”

“Thanks, it’s a football game,” my husband told me, annoyed by this and also by the fact that he hadn’t eaten.

DRESS

All of them from the contingent of the medical school were dressed in festive clothes. The Australians wore blue pants. The social group is also interesting.

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