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Cultural Differences

Do I Need To . . .?
by Teresa; May 19, 2008

 “Do I need to . . .?” reminds me of my old country, Japan. We did the same things as Teresa did in Taiwan. Those are insignificant matters in daily life in Canada. Nevertheless, Teresa found not only cultural differences but also a difference of philosophies between old and new countries. In the old country, history has affected people’s attitudes by ranking them, or I would say, to be proud of wealth. As Teresa noticed, that the “independent spirits” exist in Canada, where everybody should be fundamentally equal. I admire that she realized it in such a short time because it took me ten years to accept the difference.—Masaru, Writing 12 student.

The first time I learned how to fill up my car was in Canada. Before that, I had been driving for ten years in Taiwan, but I had never filled my car by myself. What I did was just sit in the driver's seat, and the free service is always there.

Another difference is that, in Canada, there’s no caddy at a golf course. It is different from Taiwan where the player has to hire a caddy by golf course regulation. Here I, myself, have to carry the golf equipment to go through the eighteen holes in four hours.

One day, I asked my Canadian girl friend, “Where do you live now?” She replied,” I moved to live with my parents.”

 “That’s better. You don’t need to pay the rent and you can save more money.”

“I pay the rent,” she said normally. She works at a college, is single, and 26 years old. What she says reminded me that, when I was her age, in the same situation as her, living with my parents, I didn’t pay the rent. Furthermore, both my parents and I didn’t think anything about it. That I lived with them free is natural because it’s my home and the rent is not accepted for such kind of relationship in my culture.

The above three things shocked me a little bit. The questions arose in my mind: “Do I need fuel service, if I can do it myself?” ”Do I need a caddy, if I can use a cart?” “Do I need to pay the rent to my parents, if I have already worked?” and then, ”What’s the difference between here and there?” I was considering all of these.

Finally, the words surfaces in my mind: ”Do it by yourself.” In other words, I think there is a more independent spirit—to be independent and to be treated independently—in western culture.