To smile of not to smile?

1 05 2012

Before I moved to the US I lived in a big city where people walked around with hardly giving you eye contact, there they have different expressions to say hello to people some very impersonal and some very personal. People are very warm and welcoming and they would give you the shirt of their backs, but you would not know it just by passing them on the street.

Here I moved to a small college town and people smile at you on the streets, and when you get into a store they greet you very warm and friendly; some people call you sweety and dear, even when you don’t know them. That seemed odd to me. I mentioned this and I was told that this is because people in the US are very friendly.

After being here for a while I realized that most people do it out of politeness, some out of friendliness, but the smile is just a greeting, it is not an open door for friendship.

I have this instinctive reaction when I see babies, I look at them and smile, can’t help it. So in some parts of town people just notice and smile back, in other parts of town people look at me angrily as to say do not look at my baby. I can’t understand why, maybe they can see I am an alien and they fear alien abduction.

I’ve gotten used to the smiles, I actually love smiling at everybody, I do believe that it is contagious and sometimes it confuses people. So in a recent trip to Germany and I’ve been smiling at people on the street and I got odd looks and some angry looks when smiled at babies.

I asked, I am annoyingly curious and ask questions. They told me that they consider themselves friendly, and don’t see the need to smile to everybody, also they like to protect their privacy.

I believe that not only the culture but the environment affects the smiling, if you are in a go go go city you may not even look at other, or if you are in a sleeping town you may feel inclined to stop smile and greet people.

How are people in your world? would you consider strangers smiling at you nice, friendly or unnecessary and intrusive?

Please share your thoughts.





Looking at yourself through others’ eyes

29 04 2012

One of the most interesting thing I have realized while being an alien in the US is how my culture or other similar cultures are viewed and how history is interpreted differently depending on the point of view of the host culture.

It is interesting to find how others see your culture and how their and your perceptions change with knowledge and exposure to others. You are so used to your culture and your language and when you hear how other’s see it, Read the rest of this entry »





Religious Extremists

26 03 2012

I am thinking that I might be a middle of the way kind of person, not a liberal not a conservative, I agree with both sides and disagree with both.

One of the things I like about the US is the freedom, of speech, religion, politics, you can have your own beliefs and that is respected. Actually that is one of the founding principles of this country.

What scares me are religious extremists, those people who oppress Read the rest of this entry »





Are we being too sensitive and becoming desensitized?

27 07 2011

Work sent me overseas to a Latin American country and some of my co-workers called all men Pedro. It was a joke and nobody really cared. But that got me thinking, if they did that at home in the US, people would be offended, even if there were not Latinos. This got me wondering, is the effort to not offend anybody going too far, to the point of being silly? Are we so vulnerable that anything can hurt us?

In my friend’s child soccer team, there are no goalies; no body wins or loses. I understand and agree that the game is supposed to be fun, and that US society tends to be extremely competitive, but trying to shield children from the experience of loosing a game may give them a false sense of entitlement and deny them the opportunity of learning how to lose; which frankly is as important as learning how to win.

We walk around on egg shells trying so hard not to hurt anybody’s feelings. Could it be that by not being exposed to disappointment and pain that we are creating children and adults with no empathy? Do you think a bully would do what they do if they had gone through something similar?

I see kids videotaping themselves hitting others, doing flash mobs of theft and other unimaginable things with no regard for consequences. If you don’t learn early on the consequences for your actions, than you may think there are none.

Can we be honest with each other and just let somebody know when their behavior crossed the line. How about if we have the conversations instead of trying so hard that we don’t say anything meaningful anymore.





PDA

7 05 2011

I was listening to a radio show, one of those where people call in. The topic was Public Displays of Affection or PDAs. I was very confused by the comments people made. I understand that the US culture is a little uptight, but I was surprised to hear what these young people had to say.

First they talked about, who is guilty of PDAs, like who dares to do that. But then people called, and said that it was horrible that people would display their feeling in public.

Of course, like a good alien, I don’t agree. When I see people holding hands, specially older folks, I think it is sweet. I know I am a female and that might be a female thing. Well some of the girls calling the show said it was “gross” to see people holding hands. I would understand if it was making out or other things but hugging, holding hands was GROSS?!?!?!

Most of the callers agreed that it was disgusting and that when they were in public with their partners they would act as if they did not know each other. WHY? that is my question. Can somebody out there explain to me why.

I agree that some people go overboard and I do not agree with making out, too much touching, groping. But I love to hold my hubby’s hand, hug my friends…I am a repeat offender.

Is it disgusting? Is it okay? let me know.





Great example from Dearborn Michigan

24 04 2011

The people of Dearborn, MI gave us a great example of unity and how we can all coexist, live together in harmony. A certain pastor wanted to come and protest in front of the Islamic Center of America. This “Pastor” that likes to incite hate is no different from any other religious radical that believes that only his/her point of view is valid and everybody else is wrong. He burnt the holy book of the Muslim faith and incited protests against the US…irresposible.

Turns out that the people of Dearborn, well not just Dearborn, people came from all over the state and the country; people form all different religions, Christians, Muslims and Jewish, joined arm and arm to support their brothers and sisters. This makes me proud of my fellow humans.

 

Click on the picture for more

One of the speakers said it best, we stand here not as Jewish, Muslims or Christians, we stand here as Americans!!!





Support the DREAM ACT

5 12 2010

I have shared my views on the DREAM Act before; I am bringing this up again because it is set to go before the Senate yet again. There are many reasons to support the DREAM act, and I found this article that gives you one more. A little background:

The Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is a bipartisan bill that would provide a path to legal residence for undocumented young people who were brought to the United States as children. The conditions: They must graduate from high school, demonstrate good moral character, and — to keep their legal status — complete at least two years of higher education or at least two years service in the U.S. military.

Without the relief of the DREAM Act, the future of these American-educated young people is bleak.

About 65,000 such eligible students graduate from U.S. high schools each year, but upon graduation, these young people, who include honor roll students, star athletes and junior ROTC members, hit a wall.

Instead of advancing to college or the military and later repaying the investment that taxpayers made in their education, they live in fear of being discovered by the Department of Homeland Security and deported to their “home” country, even if it is a country they cannot remember and where they have no friends, family or support.

Potential DREAM Act beneficiaries like David and Cesar are a military recruiter’s dream candidates for enlistment, even if they have no legal status. They are Americanized, having lived in the United States for at least five years, unlike the newly lawful permanent residents whom the military currently enlists.

DREAM Act beneficiaries have no adult period of residence in a foreign country, making it easier to perform background checks for security clearance. They often speak both English and another language fluently. Many have participated in Junior ROTC in high school. They do not have criminal records or other evidence of bad character. They have graduated from a U.S. high school.

Instead of wearing our uniforms, these recruits could be recruited to work for foreign governments, foreign militaries and foreign intelligence agencies. At a time when we are focused on protecting our borders and quashing threats to our national security, it seems unwise to export thousands of American-educated and American-acculturated young people to militaries other than our own.

Please read the full article here








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