I would like to talk about cultural observations of life in the United State. Because I visited the U.S. for the first time, all things I experienced and saw were new to me. During my stay in the U.S., I found the differences of culture between Japan and the U.S.
First, I was surprised that most people in the U.S. talk about own family and their work in self-introduction. In Japan, we often talk about my name, hometown or where we belong to when we introduce myself, but we don’t introduce my family. I thought people in the U.S. are open about their family. Second, eating habit in the U.S. was very different that in Japan. Food and drinks were very big. It was hard for me to eat all, but I could take rest food home when we ate out. Almost restaurant in Japan cannot take that home. I think that taking rest food home lead to decrease disposal of scraps and may become a solution to problems of waste or environment. So, I want Japan to introduce this system. Also, I was surprised that vegetables were scarce and there were many foods that contains too much sugar or fat. I realized Japanese food is very healthy and has rich kinds of cooking, then I missed Japanese food. So, I think Japanese food is the culture that Japan is proud of. Third, work style in the U.S. were lax compared to Japan. When I went to the shop in the U.S., I thought that attitude of clerks was blunt. For example, the look on face, the way to give change and put goods in shopping bag. After I knew the service of other countries, I came to realize again how much great a customer service in Japan. In 2013, Japanese television journalist gave speech to the International Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires and the word of “OMOTENASHI” attracted attention all over the world. I thought this culture was not much great as that time. Now I understand how great culture OMOTENASHI by coming into contact with a different culture. I would many foreign people like to come to Japan and experience OMOTENASHI. Fourth, although this is no wonder, language is difference. Each language has various characteristic and I thought the characteristic bring the difference in character. Japanese has honorific expressions. This is used for seniors and bosses. So, I have an image that Japanese often are careful around them and passive toward their opinions. Actually, I’m poor at telling my opinion to other people, especially to my superiors and elders. In contrast, I had an image that people in the U.S. tell anybody frankly what they have in mind. In fact, American student activity told their opinions to instructors. I thought honorific expressions can show the respect, but sometimes create a barrier. Moreover, I discovered the fun of studying various languages.
Through two weeks of short-term overseas study, the most impressive thing I felt is that culture we think it is common is not common in other countries. And I thought each common thing is formed by each culture. I had an opportunity to think about Japanese culture and rediscover the good points of Japan, so I thought understanding culture of other countries lead to face culture of our country. As what I found and experienced was only a small part of American culture, I want to stay in the U.S. again for a time and know more American culture. These two weeks are valuable thing to me, thank you for everyone!