Post 9

Media influences our culture in many ways than one, for example snapchat. If you do not know snapchat, it is a social media platform where people share moments that disappeared in seconds. Most people these days wait and look on snapchat to see what their friends are doing so they can compare it to what they are doing. Then they get to process it. If the friend on snapchat is portraying he’s having fun, and the person looking is not having fun than they start comparing. People tend to judge people by their social media post, followers and media. Moreover, famous people use this platform to promote business and themselves because we their fan are waiting to review their day-to-day activity.

Being from Liberia I understood exactly what he was talking about. I love that he went to Africa to work and learn the culture. One thing that stood out to me was when he and his friends were driving equipment’s in the very big truck and they accidently ruined the electivity wire. The guy who had been in Africa for a while and knows how to approach the people was talking to the local leader about what can be done to fix the wire. While the local leader and the white guy were talking, they were holding hands. In the United States if a guy and another guy hold hands they are automatically gay stereotypically by the people. In West Africa, if a guy and another guy hold hand it means understanding in some situations, and it means respect in others situations. The reason why I single out that simple thing is because Gio and I have had this conversation before. After the class that day when Gio and I went home he started holding my hands. I know that sounds weird.

Post 8

I talked to a couple who I am close friends with the guy called James. He is from Africa, but another country called Ghana. James have been dating this white girl for more than a year. I asked James and his girlfriend how they felt or handle being in a interracial relationship? He laugh and said nothing but his girlfriend said they get looked at differently in different environment. Then James told me about how he have to accept the fact that his race plays a part in how others view their relationship. James friends finds it cool that he is dating a white girl but her family finds it not normal that she is dating a white guy.

Norms have been very important in cultures since our existence. The presentation talked about how our norms makes us value the things we do and it also makes us look at other in the opposite light as us. But one thing we need to understand is that we all might have different norms, so we do not need to judge people by how they ignorantly act to our culture

Post 7

We all have been privileged in one way or the other. I believe no one should feel bad for what they have. Most people I meet in the United States ask me “ these kids have it easy here huh?” My answer is always no, because if I was from here and I grew up here the only thing I know is what I see and what my parents build for them. You should feel privileged to be able to keep working hard.  

In the activity I noticed how the people with the highest power got to change the rules that everyone should follow. And moreover, they implement rules that will benefit them. This is something that happened in our everyday world. There is a saying “ the rich gets richer and the poor stay poorer”.

Post 6

I did not see the activity in class this week but I want to talk a little about privilege. I did not believe anyone was privileged when I was growing up, because we all lived in the refugee camp and did almost the same things. However, I could tell when someone is being treated differently from me. After many years I now believe so many children I grew up with was less privileged than be because I got to go to school while they could not afford school. I got to eat, and I got to wear flip-flop. All these things happened because I had people helping me along the way. Many of the children I grew up with had no parents to help them like the way my mother helped me. They did not have people paying for their school like the way I did. Some of my friends use to tell me “Donnett you are so lucky”. Yet, I did not see how I was lucky because this is something that is happening to me it can happen to you too. At the time I did not accept the fact that I was privileged to be getting what I got.

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I believe privilege affect us in ways that we are not even aware of. I have been one of the privileged once since I was a child. At a young age I did not realize I was privileged until I started seeing me doing things that people at my age in my hometown were not doing. This affected my drive to work harder than the other person. Moreover, this made not have to worry about what the other person have to worry about.

–        Something that stood out to me from our guest speaker was his story telling ability. He was very aware of what he wanted to talk about and how he was going to go about presenting it. He demonstrated his professionalism and humor all through the presentation.

Self-Assessment

Self-Assessment

The green and wet rain forest, the ocean and lakes that surround the community of Robertsport and the beautiful morning skies; I miss it.  I am a boy child from Liberia, West Africa. On the beautiful Atlantic Ocean with one of the last rain forest in West Africa we value nature and many other things. Liberia is divided into sixteen different counties where everyone speaks their own dialect but the whole country speaks English. Mostly, because free slaves from the United States bought Liberia years ago so they made the rules. We woke up every morning to the sound of the chicken. I crowing of the rooster in the morning let us know it is time to wake up. Every little kid in Liberia know how the chicken crows, it sounds like “kuku kururu, day na break. Which means the night is no more.

I had four brothers, two sisters and one orphan girl my mom was taking care of. My family did not have enough so I will say I grew up in a lower class family. My mother was a single mother raising seven children. Our mother is not educated but she installed in us the importance of education. I usually asked my mom “why didn’t you go to school?” Her answer was always the same. “ I didn’t have the chance, so you have the chance to change this. We grew up going to church every Sunday. My mother did not have a lot of mother to even feed the family but she made sure to give us money for offering at church. Everyone in Liberia believes that if you give your little or last to the church you will be blessed and get it back multiplied.

I grew up in a small town called Buduburam refugee camp located in Ghana. My family is from Liberia but during the civil war in Liberia my mother and 47,000 Liberians had to flee to find safety in Ghana, where the refugee camp was. Waking up to the sounds of guns is very different from waking up to the sound of the chicken walking around the town. The refugee camp was not the best place to be but it was the safest place at the moment because there were security and international volunteer there to help the refugees live a better lives.

International volunteers used to come to the refugee camp to help build school, hospitals and build wells for safe drinking water. The first four international volunteers I saw, two were from the United States and the other two were from Spain; but in my mind all white people were from the United States. Most people on the refugee camp though the same about all white people are from America, but this changed after I asked them where they were from and they made it clear that all white people are not from the United States. After I met most of the international volunteers I realized that there is more to learn from them than just knowing that all white people are not from the United States.

My house was about two blocks from where the international volunteers lived, so I decided to visit them once in awhile just to talk and create a friendship. I visited them most weekends to learn about America, Europe or where they were from. I wanted to know how they speak and what kind of food they eat. Literally I wanted to know everything about their cultural identifications.

Two cultural identifications that I have been interesting in discussing are gender and race. I will start with gender because it is a big issue where I come from. In my home we value and respect our mothers, sisters and wives. We will do any or everything to protect them because we were raised to know that they need our help to be successful. We were raised to know that they belonged to us, so it is our job to protect them. At a young age our parents teach us to respect women at any cost. As young boys our parents or older brother make us understand that we cannot beat our wives or any girl, because if we do that it means we have just fought our mother. In our culture disrespecting your mother is the last thing a child want to do. It is known to be a curse if you disrespect your mother.

However, one thing I do not see as respecting women is making them feel like they belonged to us. I do not agree with the fact that a human should belong to another human; moreover, unwillingly. We were thought that our women are responsible cooking, cleaning, taking care of the family and being respectful to their husbands. Than the husband will be the muscle that provides food, money and resources to take care of the family. Yet, I learned that women are more intelligence that’s why it is their job to take care of the family. So most of the time the women would use theses things as advantage to behave more intelligent to prove to their husbands that they are right, because women are intelligent. Men are more important than women so they are invited to the meetings and the decision making for the community.

Race is another cultural identification I’ve always been interested in learning more about. I wanted to know why certain people hate others and where it all started. Growing up my family usually talked about the racism in the world but I had no idea what different race looked like. My parents mostly told me that the white people enslaved many black people in America who were sold to them by other black people. The mindset some African who are still in Africa feel about white people is that they all hate blacks. There is a saying “ they may smile in your face, but talk behind your back”. That is the saying my parents used when I told them I was a friend with a lot of white people from all around the world. For example, I brought an international volunteer to introduce her to my mom one Sunday after church. The international volunteer name is Megan; Megan is one of the sweetest people I know. But when she arrived at my house my mother seemed scared. She introduced herself wildly and she sat a little far away from us. I realized that she still believe the saying about white people.

After Megan left I asked my mom why were she scared? Her response was “ you know the saying about white people”. I started to realize that these (Slavery) are things my mom heard, and the white people from years ago did it to blacks. SO she was scared that every white person is the same. I asked my mom if she thinks Megan will make her slave and she answered I don’t know. That was when I realized that my mom did not believe that Megan had the same value as us. Which is to love everyone as yourself. She thought Megan (white people) is way more intelligent than blacks so that is why they start to be your friend and after they hurt you. It took Megan and me many visits just to ensure my mom that Megan is a nice person, not like those white people who enslaved our ancestors. After a few weeks, my mom and Megan was the best of friends I’ve see at that time. Seeing my mother and Megan friendship I got to understand that they literally had the same values. The cared, loved and also care for others. When Megan is with our family she tries to behave like us, which we told her to be herself. When that was said, Megan would want to go to movies with us, she would want to have a cookout; she wanted to go to the beach with us. She was behaving like the American way, which was really nice because the kids got to enjoy the company of an American.

My parents always told me to treat people equal because we all are equal in the eyes of God. While on the refugee camp, my mother became the international volunteers laundry lady. She did their laundry with her bare hands every week, because of that she did not do her nails because it might ruin when she is working. Example of my family treating everyone equal is when an African American woman came as an international volunteer. She wanted my mom to do her laundry for free while the white people pay. My mom told her NO, because it will be unfair if she does not pay.

Most of the things I talked about in this paper are learned from my parents, mostly my step day. He was the most experienced person in my life at the time I met these people. He was the only person in my household who went to school and graduated from high school at the time. We looked up to him because we thought he was highly educated, but not I know that there were more to learn and that he was not highly educated. On the other hand I got to understand that he was teaching us what his father had taught him. He was building us in the same shape his parents built him. He heard and talked about slavery a lot so most of the things I knew about what happened in the slavery era were from him.

Everything he said was not accurate but everything he said was from a place of anger, frustration and betrayal. He always felt that our own people betray us by selling black to Europeans to be slaves. After moving to the United States the media have helped me to understand what really happened during the slavery era and the day-to-day war women have to fight to be treated equally.

I related the cognitive difference in my mind of other people’s culture in this paper. However, I have always view the word in a way where everyone has different level of power, and that depends on your economic standing. I also related the evaluative aspect of our lives into the paper as well. After writing this assessment I have a few area of culture I would like to know more about before the end of the semester. I would like to learn the difference or injustice people face in there our country/tribes or native groups.

I would like to understand why people from the same country but different tribes hate each other, even though they are the same race or color? Because the civil war that happened in Liberia was fought because one tribe woke up one morning saying they need power from the other tribe that was in power. I want to understand why the leaders do not create conflict management to stop these types of conflict before it escalates. These are issues that I grew up in; these are things that need fixing in my country. I am looking forward to changing this so I would be really excited if I can get a little exposure in these topics before the end of the semester.

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One thing that have stuck with me was the discussion we had in call earlier in the semester concerning how everyone view the world in their own lens or their point of view. This made me understand how the more we feel like we know the less we have learned. There are so much more we can learn about each other’s culture. This helped me to listen to understand people more, it made me realized that the way in which we look at the world is build up by how we were brought up and our culture. We are all from different parts of the world, so listening to how other view or how they think about cultures was very interesting to me.

 

Andonica’s video was very motivating in so many aspects. After the video I saw her as this persistent lady who could stop at nothing to get her success. One thing that made me say that was when she came to UVU to register, she did not know how she was going to pay her school fees. She told herself “ I am going to college”; She came to college. Another aspect when she came they sent her to multicultural department. She did not fight it but understood that if other nationalities were in her country they would do the same thing to them. She was just very understood because she had been through a lot so nothing could break her persistent. Another part of the video she talked about a doctor/researcher who is going to be the best. She talked about a man who if it was not for him she would have not made it. A successful person is appreciative, they are caring and they give compliments where it belongs, they are humble, and they always thank the people along the way. All these good things happen to her because she was always in the moment and feeling everything that came her way, moreover she appreciated them.

 

 

post 3

I am from Liberia; we have 16 different counties and every county have their own dialect but everyone in the entire country speaks English. The United States is getting diverse each and every day. Having English only law would be unreasonable, because many people who come to the United Stated from different parts of the world would like to feel at home here. Moreover, immigrants would like to associates themselves with their countrymen, which may include speaking their languages in their small groups. Our languages are our culture; we would like to value it everywhere we go. I think we should have two or three languages law. Not just English.

 

I have not started working on my service-learning project yet. I am planning on contacting some refugee centers to set up an appointment for me, Gio and Elliot to go and do some activity with the refugees. This will be a great experience for me because I was once a refugee and it will mean a lot to be giving back.

 

 

The video for this week, Babakieueria made me understand more about how racism and injustice is something we have to deal with even though we do not like it. The video also made me realize how lucky and fortunate we are who are on the opposite side of the injustice.  When I saw the injustice the black Australian had to go through it just made me see how society and culture fail us sometimes.

Chapter 3.

This chapter about Communication competence was very interesting to me. One part that surprised and made me understand Empathy more was the definition and explanation the book stated. “Since our empathetic skills are tied to our cultures, we cannot be empathetic without knowing something about others’ experiences and lives” After reading I started asking myself so I can not feel empathy for someone I met at the airport the same day they lost their brother? Another part that really relates to me was the Observation and Interpretation section. I have been in a situation where I’ve asked for direction and the person just walked away and I followed them and asked again. However, the reason why he walked away the first time was he was walking to a place where we both could see where I needed to go (the direction). He could talk but did not use words when he was directing me.

 

Chapter 4.

The evaluative concept stood up to me more than any other because it talks about the rating of values. Some may see you as lower in value because you are not doing what their culture thought them to do. Or even you might see yourself lower because you feel like that you are not doing what other people around you are doing.  For example, I have some friend who believes in the Mormon faith. I believe they look at others who do not believe in the church as lower value or not good as them.

First post

My name is Dennett Sackie; I am from Liberia West Africa. I started my schooling in Ghana where I grew up and finished high school at Wasatch academy in Utah. I came to the United States in 2013 after finishing 10th grade back home. After high school I was accepted to Utah Valley University where I started in 2015. When I started college I wanted to become a doctor but that required too much studies and I lost interest it. I found my new love in Communications because I now want to become a sports agent.

 

Chapter 1. I really enjoyed reading about diversity. It made me understand that I was not as crazy as I thought when I came to the United States, especially at my high school. We had students from 37 different countries around the world. My first friend I had was a Spanish guy from Mexico called Alvaro, but how we became friends was him not liking the room hot, but I did. He did not know how to tell a big black man to turn the AC down. He would go and ask other people to come ask me to turn it down. Get this straight, he spoke and understood English. After a few days he got the guts to talk to me. The point of this story is we had to find a common ground of understanding; it is not about where you are from but how you can find a way to communicate.

 

Chapter 2. This chapter talked about norms and value in different countries. I will give an example about my friend and roommate Alvaro again. In my country Liberia, when a person is eating on a short table you cannot put your foot on the table. Alvaro did not know that because maybe in his country it is just noting. The table we had in our dorm was very short where when you are sitting on a chair you can stretch you foot to relax on the table. Alvaro and I were eating in different bowls, he had his bowl in his and I had mine on the table. He was sitting and lying back in a chair while I was sitting up right because my bowl was on the table. While eating, he put his foot on the table, I said “ BRO TAKE YOUR FOOT FROM ON THE TABLE” I yelled at him. He freaked out and asked “why bro”? I said it’s disrespectful. Because you use your foot to walk on the dirty ground, if you put your foot on the table I am eating on, it means I am literally eating under your feet. He felt really back and apologize. However, I realize different countries have different norms and values.