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Interviewing Someone From Another Culture Essay

interviewing someone from another culture essay

Example #1

Living in the United States was somewhat different from how was in my country of origin. I found numerous differences, although there were also some similarities. For one, the weather here is definitely colder than in my country. In addition to this, the people in the United States are not overpopulated, nor are the houses crowded. At some point, a sense of independence was also inculcated in my mind. I learned how to look after myself while being appreciative of my roots.

Interviewer: From what country are you from? Interviewee: I am from the Philippines, and so is my whole family. We moved here when I was six years old.

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Interviewer: Can you tell me something about the culture that you grew up in?

Interviewee: I grew up in a culture that gave much importance to family and respect for one another. Furthermore, it was important to be close-knit with each other. For every problem faced by each member of our family, we were all there to show some love and support.

Each celebration was attended by almost all the members of the family. Non-attendance was inexcusable, with each one sharing their own sentiments.

Interviewer: How was your childhood like knowing that your race was different from that of your peers?

Interviewee: Honestly, I did not have difficulty adjusting. I grew up like any other individual, and I was able to adapt to the environment I was living in. When I moved to the United States, my parents introduced to us a new world that we were unaware of. I must say that not much difficulty was experienced because we also spoke English at home. In addition to this, my friends never took my race against me. At some point, I remember growing up to the fact that they were asking about some important things about my culture.

Interviewer: How was your relationship with your family?

Interviewee: As I mentioned earlier, I grew up in a closely-knit family. I was raised to respect the needs of my elders and always take into consideration the feelings of others. In so doing, I also grew up knowing that talking negatively of family members was wrong, and would be accounted for such actions. Furthermore, Sundays were often spent with family members, and dinner was the most important meal in the family. Regardless of how busy we may be, we had to eat dinner together. This was our chance to talk about what happened with us all throughout the day.

In addition to this, it was our belief that we would take care of the elderly members of the family, and those who have fallen ill. Sending them off to convalescent homes was not an option for us, for it was our obligation as children to care for our parents.

Interviewer: Did you have any difficulty with religion? If yes, how did you deal with it? Interviewee: I must say that I did not have difficulty with religion. Since my family was close, I was opened to the Roman Catholic norms. We even have religious idols strategically positioned in the different parts of the house as a sign of respect for the religion.

Furthermore, this did not even become a reason for me to neither doubt myself nor be affected in any manner.

Interviewer: What do you think is the greatest factor that differentiates you from your peers? Interviewee: In terms of intellectual capacity, I must say that there is not much difference. We are all given the same quality and quantity of education in school. However, we only differ from the different perceptions formed and inculcated in our minds when we were younger. One difference that I see with others is the fact that I always had to take the feelings and thoughts of my parents into consideration.

As part of the Filipino culture, we were not allowed to answer our parents nor disrespect them in any manner. This was in contrast to how other parents were treated by their children. Whenever we disrespect our parents or elders, we were reprimanded and given some punishments.

Interviewer: In terms of language, did you feel at any point that there was a barrier? Interviewee: No. I did not feel that any barrier was formed in any part of my life. However, I felt advantageous for I was also fluent in my family’s language, which was Filipino. In some manner, I felt at home and at ease with my family with the use of the language.

In addition to this, the act itself was a way for us to live our cultural heritage despite the fact that we were not in the Philippines. Furthermore, I grew up in the United States, making me fluent in English as well. It is sometimes funny to think about how others would become impressed with the way I can speak two languages fluently.

Interviewer: When dealing with peers, did you feel at some point that you were different from everyone else?

Interviewee: No, I did not feel different. Regardless of our differences in belief, I believe that we were all geared towards the betterment of society.

We were given the same kind of information and were taught equally in school. As I mentioned earlier, we all have our differences, and I believe that my peers feel the same way too. Although we have the same quality and quantity of education, we also have to take into consideration the culture and tradition of each. There are certain things they do that would catch our attention and may look different in our eyes. However, these are certain things in life that we have to take into consideration. Also, I believe that being different from others is just a state of mind.

We all make our own lives, and so it is up to us on how we could make things work. Interviewer: What do you think is one of the greatest influences your culture had on the way you deal with your life and peers?

Interviewee: My culture has allowed me to appreciate life better. Also, I am able to appreciate the people who have played an important part in my life. I was able to inculcate in my thoughts and actions the different lessons brought about by my culture and family members. Most importantly, I was able to imbibe self-respect and dignity in everything that I do.

Before I indulge in something, I try to ponder on and analyze things. There are certain things that I do in life that I attribute to the beliefs I grew up with. These would often be my guide before I make decisions.

Interviewer: Looking back at your life, do you find it difficult to adjust to the American culture and way of life?

Interviewee: I believe that living in the United States did not come as difficult from my end. For the most part, I was able to learn more about myself and others. Furthermore, I was able to be the individual I am now because of the mixture of cultures I grew up in.

In my own opinion, I believe that the American way of life is one of the most misunderstood cultures. Others would say that American culture was focused on the individuality of people. However, what others do not see is a great deal of competence and individuality inculcated in the perceptions of many. Through independence and competence, individuals are able to hone themselves and become someone in society. It is my perception that these things are the ones that matter most when trying to make it big in society. We are all bound by the difficulties in life, however, it is also up to us on how we can change things.

No matter who we are and what we do, we should always give credit to our roots and cultural heritage. Name of Student Course Name of Professor Date Intel-cultural

Interview: A Reaction Culture has been attributed to the different challenges experienced by people. For many, culture became an important part in the shaping of one’s perception. I was given the opportunity to find out and understand more about other cultures through this interview. Before the interview took place, I had numerous questions in mind. I wanted to know how other people would adapt to the American way of life.

For the most part, I wanted to see if there were differences with my own perceptions and if there were also similarities. I wanted to be enlightened with the numerous ideas that flowed in my head. The questions I asked my classmate opened new ideas for me. With the difficulties that came my way, I was able to appreciate more the importance of the other cultures.

STATE NAME was one of the few people in school that I admired the most. Through this interview, I was able to learn more about him/her and the kind of life he/she was accustomed to. I admired STATE NAME for her/his honesty and for being open-minded.

He/she did not limit the answers to a word or two. Instead, I was given a glimpse of how his/her life was while growing up in a foreign country. In so doing, I was also given the opportunity to understand the difficulties and trials felt all these years. However, I also saw a great deal of importance their culture gave towards dealing with family and respect for the elderly. At this point, I felt a certain deal of admiration for him/her. STATE NAME was a concrete example of how an individual could embrace two different cultures and personify them.

Respect for the elderly has always been inculcated in all of our minds. However, I was able to see it as a reality when STATE NAME gave me specifics during the interview. STATE NAME’S answers were all based on his/her experiences in life and were considered valid. I was surprised at how much credit he/she gave towards the contribution his/her family had on who he/she is today. In so doing, I also saw how unaffected he/she is with language barriers. Through STATE NAME’s experiences, language barriers may be avoided if people just became open-minded.

In so doing, STATE NAME’s mirrored the kind of culture Filipinos showed. By practicing the culture of their origin, they were able to help keep their race alive. Being away from their country of origin did not come as a hindrance for them to forget their heritage. Instead, their bonds as a family and as Filipinos were strengthened further by actions and attitudes towards others. I must say that I have learned so much from this interview. In my own little way, I was able to appreciate and give much credit to my roots and the different accomplishments I had in my own life.

At the same time, I saw how much we were alike. Regardless of our differences in belief and in culture, there were certain things that bound us together. We were both open to the fact that we would not be who we are today if not for the mixture of culture we have. For the most part, we both believed that living outside of our country of origin would not come as a hindrance for us to reach our goals. Instead, it would help us to become better people; making our families and our country proud. Life is indeed full of challenges—and it is up to us on how we could actually make things work and make a difference.


Example #2

This paper is a result of an interview with someone who is different from the interviewer in a race, age, culture, and ethnic background. This paper will discuss the background of the individual as a child and will also discuss crucial issues on how the individual feels with regard to herself, society, her family, and to the interviewer.

The individual being interviewed is my friend, Shelley. Shelley is a dynamic, Jewish woman who was born and raised in the Washington Heights section of New York City. She is married to a Jewish man and they have one daughter. Shelley lived in an enormous apartment building with several families from different backgrounds. Everyone was considered middle-class income families and was financially stabled. As a child being different was never a factor, she did not believe that her neighbors were different, ethnic, or otherwise. No one was ever labeled, just normal.

She lived on the fourth floor with her parents, her older brother, and older sister. The residents varied in ethnicity and diversity which included Spanish, Greek, Polish, French, Italians, and Americans; no one was a minority. The different religions ranged from Greek Orthodox to Protestant. The superintendent of the building and his family lived there as well, they were African-American.

The holidays there were enjoyed by all including Jewish and Christian holidays. Each New Year’s Eve was hosted by the Greek family. The whole building community was invited for food and drink; no one was left out. It was a cultural experience that benefited everyone who participated.

Shelley had many friends in the building; leaving the building to be with other friends was minimal. The sense of security was never a question in her area; all the doors were kept unlocked and everyone had keys to every apartment, it was a positive environment. There was always adult supervision in the building at any given time. Parents were always aware of where their…


Example #3

For this interview, I invited a 32-year-old single, Indian male who had been a resident of the United States for more than 10 years. He is a resident of San Jose California. However; he is always designated in different parts of the country. He is currently working as a Software Engineer in one of the Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) in the United States. His name is not mentioned due to confidential reasons. In this interview, he will be named as Mr. S. The Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIA) community are one of the fastest emerging population in the United States.

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In 1999, the population of the community was estimated at around 11 million. It is predicted that the number will increase up to 20 million in the year 2020. Also the same year, APIA comprised 4% of the total population of the United States, 12 % were Hispanics and 11 percent were African-Americans. The APIA community is composed of members from different countries. Some of these countries include the Philippines, Japan, China, India, Pakistan, Micronesia, Hawaii, Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Korean, and Indonesia.

Most of these nationalities chose to stay in the State of California wherein there are 12% of the population is APIA.

Due to the differences in the nationalities of its members, the community displays a dynamic and diverse culture distinct from others. Not only are they different in norms, but they also require special care regarding their health needs because they are not accustomed to the weather. This sometimes causes health problems. During the interview process such questions are posted for the interviewee in order to accomplish the goals of this paper:

  1. Demographics of the individual being interviewed (age, gender, level of education, what they do for a living, and how you know them).
  2. How do you identify yourself culturally? How did you come to this identification?
  3. Under what conditions did you and your family enter the United States (immigrant, political refugee, slave, etc. )? What was that like?
  4. Has your cultural group experienced oppression historically? How has this impacted you?
  5. Have you experienced discrimination/racism/or other isms? In what ways? What happened as a result of this experience?
  6. What were your expectations when you were little about what you would be when you grew up and what your life would be like?
  7. Did you feel you had a lot of choice in selecting dates? In selecting mates? In finding jobs? In finding housing? In obtaining credit? In obtaining medical care?
  8. How did your expectation get met or not met?
  9. What are common misperceptions about your group that you would like to see changed or corrected?
  10. What are the most important things for people outside your cultural group to learn and appreciate about your group?
  11. What are the best things for you, personally, about belonging to your cultural group?
  12. Is there anything else you’d like to share?

1. Mr. S is a native of India before he came to the United States. He was ten years old when his family to migrated the United States. His parents believe that he and his siblings will have a better life in the United States compared to India. He was able to continue his schooling in the United States and graduated from college. He is currently 32 years old. He grew up in San Jose California but he is often traveling due to the nature of his work. He is working as the Head software engineer and he is assigned to monitor every state that their company has an office. I was able to know Mr. S because of a relative who is also currently working in the same MNC in the United States.

I was acquainted with him in one of the small family parties that we had. He was invited by my relative. I thought he could be the best person that I could interview for an assignment because he had both experiences American and Indian living.


2. Mr. S. has been staying in the United States for more than 10 years now. He has experienced living in a different part of the world that has different cultures and traditions. Though he had experienced such, he considered himself more of an Indian rather than an American. In the interview, Mr. S. has stated that was strongly influenced by their Indian traditions.

From the time that they moved to the United States, until now, they still practice the old beliefs that they have. He still practices Hinduism and speaking of their native tongue. He considers himself as because he believes that he is still an Indian living with other nationalities. He may be influenced by his environment, he still does not consider himself as an American because of his values and beliefs.


3. His family entered the United States by applying for an immigrant visa. His family waited for many years to finally be able to stay and live in the United States. However, before applying, his parents have tried to stay in the United States for a couple of months just to make sure that their family will be able to attain their desired lifestyle and their needs.


4. In answering this question, Mr. S. had mentioned about the oppression of the British in India. They had been oppressed and colonized by the British for many years and took control of their resources. Indians were not given the political power that they deserve or the respect that they needed. They have severely maltreated my Britain which resulted in the amassing of Indians through the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.

The leader was able to liberate and gives empowerment to people. HE encouraged peaceful means and condemned violent actions against the British. As he was retelling me the history of their liberation he was obviously affected by the action of Mahatma Gandhi. He was being proud of his ancestors and his leader for the great and incomparable unity of Indians. He had pride in himself and believes that their country became known because of the actions Gandhi had taken. He actually said that if he sometimes becomes insecure of himself because of his race, he often thinks of their history and Gandhi.


5. As a young kid, Mr. S was discriminated against by different people for he was still innocent of life in the United States. He was often discriminated by the way he looked, his skin color, and his accent. For most people, as he said, he was “unique. ” He was not blonde or blue-eyed. He did not know the trends that kids knew when he came to the United States—he was out of place. There were times that he would ask his parents why he was being laughed at by kids in his school while those from India did not care much about him and easily became friends with him.

All these questions bothered him while he was growing up until finally, he was able to understand the situation and counter the actions made against him and his race. For he was still a young boy, he did not know what to do. Although he has asked his parents the reason for the discrimination that had been experiencing, he was still not able to fully intake and understand it. Now, that he is older he surely knows the root cause of the discrimination that he had received. But still, he is still reminded of his harsh childhood which still makes him feel hurt and somehow unwanted.


6. He said that he was just a normal boy.

He wanted to be a doctor and serve the poor. He dreamt of helping the needy for that is what they were taught. He recounts that he wanted to become rich so that he could help the poor. He expected that he will be like those people that he sees on television—popular and rich. He did not thought that there would be problems such as poverty or discrimination. As a child, he saw the world as united, equal, and at peace.


7-8 With regards to dates, Mr. S. was a bit shy when being interviewed about the topic of dating. He kept on laughing and he does not answer the questions directly compared to the other questions.

Although he was not treating the question seriously, he answered that it was one of his problems while he was growing up. Due to his looks and insecurities as a child, he was not able to date as much as he wanted to. He was often shy in asking a girl on dates and is afraid of rejection. Although there were many pretty American women, he still wanted an Indian woman because he believes that as a couple, they will be able to understand each other compared to other races in the United States. In welfare services, his family was lucky to have not experienced any complications or conflicts in getting their benefits.

Housing was not a problem because his parents were able to rent a house and eventually their family was able to own a house of their own when they were naturalized. In finding a job, Mr. S. was also fortunate because he was able to get a high paying job compared to other Indians of his age. Another factor would be his education in the United States as well as the good performance that I providing the companies that he had worked for. Currently, he is earning 45,000 Dollars monthly.


9. The common misperceptions that other people have about Indians that all of them or most of them have convenience stores. Mr. S. finds it funny that they are limited as store owners. “Indians are intelligent,” as he said. He continued to promote his people by telling me that Indians were the inventors of “Yahoo” which is one of the most popular homepages in the world. He continues to boast that Indians are hardworking and smart. He also mentioned that recently, the Indian government has boosted its technological advancement and research facilities for the development of their county.


10. He mentioned that India has one of the most interesting cultures compared to other cultures in the world.

The Hindu religion and the social class structure could be studied and view to see the country’s history. The deep historical roots of India and the experiences that it had to give a unique.


11. Mr. S. is proud to be an Indian. Although he has received discrimination from the people within his community, he still sees that there is a need for him to appreciate his own culture and personality. He said that having a different culture compared to other people make his special—from his own point of view. He has the right to enjoy other things such as their festivities and gatherings.

Compared to the American custom, there are not so many beliefs that are needed to be followed. He finds the American culture as something normal not like the Indian culture that is filled with rituals, stories, poetry, festivities, and a lot more. For Mr. S. belonging to a cultural group means that you are different compared to most people. He said, “If we really think about it, it is much better because it gives us a sense of belonging and attachment that we keep on learning and finding. ” Summary The interview I have conducted was about Mr. S. He is a single Indian man that had lived in the United States for more than 10 years.

He used to stay in San Jose California and grew up there. He was able to complete his studies and have graduated from college. Currently, he is working as a software engineer for an MNC which requires him to go around the country to check on their systems and etc. Analyzing Mr. S. an individual, he is someone does not open up so quickly. He needs to be affirmed that the person he is talking to is worth trusting of the information that he is giving. Although he needed some time to open up to some sensitive issues, he was welcome to entertain questions about his life as an Indian living in the United States as well as his life in his native land.

The interview went very well, I could compare the whole interview with Mr. S as a small trip to India due to the amazing and interesting stories that he had imparted to me. The stories of his childhood and India he once grew up made me imagine the place in his point of view. The place was something very different from the United States. In magazine pictures, India is something that photographers present to us as a magnificent and unique place because of the culture and identity of the nation. The photographs of India, which I have seen in the past, have proven to me that Mr. S. should truly be proud of his culture.

I have learned about the culture and tradition of Indians such as their feasts and gatherings. He has also imparted some of their traditions such as the clothing, physical ornaments that are attached to the body which provides important symbols for their culture. Mr. S is so proud of his people for their intelligence and diligent actions of the nation. The development of current India because of its desire to develop as a nation makes him pleased that changes are being attained by the current government. The development of his country makes him believe that he himself is one with the nation although he is distant.

I have learned that different people should be provided their right to express their beliefs and follow desires. In this interview, I have realized this. Discrimination is one of the factors that hinder a person from expressing his belief. Just like Mr. S. when he was young, he was treated differently which made him feel unwanted and strange for he has a different physical appearance, language and etc. Learning that we all are different and we need to respect each other is a realization that we need to act on. This interview made me realize that I still have to improve on the way I see people.

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I know for myself that I have nothing against other races, but there are still issues that are needed to be given the attention that I am not aware of. The issue of discrimination has long been present but still, the problem is starting to branch out and have more separated boxes such as educational attainment, age, gender, and the likes. I have realized that the current society is neglecting the fact that discrimination is starting to shift and change its path. If this is not addressed, more and more people will be marginalized. Reference (Mr. S., personal communication, June 10, 2008)


Example #4

ASSIGNMENT: Achieving competence as an interpersonal communicator in a diverse society is necessary for your personal and professional success. One way to enhance our understanding of interpersonal communication as a relationship-building activity is to engage in first-hand dialogue with people from cultures other than your own. This assignment gives you the opportunity to engage in the dual perspective honoring the perspective of the person with whom you are communicating as well as honoring your own perspective.

You are also able to contrast your worldview with the perspective of someone with a different life experience than your own. This assignment will give you the opportunity to learn about the culture and interpersonal communication by engaging in dialogue with people from cultures other than your own, most likely with different life experiences than yours.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this assignment is to explore and understand the ways in which culture influences the ways in which we communicate, form relationships with others, and view the world in which we live. This assignment is designed to help you improve your competency in intercultural interpersonal communication.

FORMAT AND GRADING: The format and requirements for written assignments as described in the syllabus will apply (see “Grading Criteria”). Your paper must be six full pages. It must have a cover page which must include: a title, your name, the course name, my name, Copper Mountain College, and the semester and year in which you wrote the paper. Any research you use in your paper will be cited according to A.P.A. standards and will have a “works cited” section on the final page.

You will want to begin work on this project early in the semester. This paper is due by 5 p.m. on May 7th. Submit your paper via email with “YOUR NAME – Speech 1 – Intercultural Interview Paper” in the subject field. No late papers will be accepted for this assignment.

EVALUATION CRITERIA: In addition to the grading criteria for written assignments as described in the course syllabus, papers will be evaluated on three specific criteria. First, papers must demonstrate an understanding of the interpersonal communication concepts and principles we have discussed in class. Integrate, incorporate, and apply as many IPC concepts as you see fit. Second, papers must analyze how those IPC concepts apply across the three cultures you select (yours, and the culture of your interviewees that are different than your own). Third, papers must demonstrate an effective and creative writing style, thoughtful reflection, and insightful analysis.

PROCESS: Interview two people who belong to cultural groups different than your own. Note: think of “cultural” groups in the broadest sense of the term. For example, do not be limited by race or ethnicity consider interviewing people who are different interns of sexual orientation, physical ability, or life experiences other than your own. Use some of the communities or cultures we’ve discussed if you need help on how to find these folks, ask me.

You must conduct your interviews in person not via the internet, email, telephone, or any other technology-mediated communication so that you can engage in full dialogue using mindful listening and honoring the dual perspective with the person you interview.

While it is easiest to interview friends or family, that is less interesting than finding two interviewees from cultures or communities other than your own whom you do not already know. Remember – when we engage in dialogue with people with whom we would not normally communicate, we are able to contrast our worldview with the worldview of others, we learn more about the world around us, and we learn more about ourselves. The more you demonstrate a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone’ in this…


Example #5


Every day we see people from different backgrounds in our hospitals. Various ethnic groups portray different traditions and customs. Culture refers to the behavior, beliefs, and values of a particular group of people that are passed from one generation to the other. You will only understand the culture of a person when you get a chance to interview them. I interviewed Carlos, a Latin American man, in his mid-40s. Carlos has a strong Mexican background, and they came to the United States to look for a new life. They moved to their current location when he was 16 years old, and they brought with them part of the Mexican culture.

A person’s significant growth takes place in his childhood and Carlos portrayed that by embracing the culture-specific to Mexico. In the United States, Carlos and his family tried to adapt to both the Spanish and English customs. I conducted a detailed cultural interview with Carlos, and he was able to provide specific information regarding his perception of health and illness, current health status, and the use of traditional practitioners. Similarly, the paper provides information on cultural assessment using Purnell and Paulanka domain of culture.

Cultural Assessment Using Purnell and Paulanka Domains of Culture

A conceptual framework is helpful to examine and understand any culture. Purnell’s model for cultural competence is a conceptual framework that encompasses twelve domains of every culture that would be useful to the health care providers (Shen, 2015). Using Purnell and Paulanka domains of culture, the interview questions and responses include the following.


The heritage is a description of the place people came from while the residence entails the place people currently live. Precisely, the domain includes the origin, current residence, occupation, and educational status of an individual. Heritage and residence are essential for health care providers because they provide information on potential illnesses that may be present in a person. What was the reason you migrated from your country of origin to the current residence? The response from Carlos was fascinating. “I came to the United States because of the poor living conditions I endured in Mexico”. There was plenty of disease outbreak, and they wanted to live a healthy lifestyle. Carlos finds the current residence conducive to them because of the availability of medical services.


Communication includes the verbal and nonverbal language, facial expression and the use of touch. Health care providers need to assess the communication of an individual to understand their culture (Hayward, & Charrette, 2012). How well do you speak Spanish? Carlos has a strong Mexican background and speaks fluent Spanish. “Being a Latino is one of the factors that make me a great speaker”. For instance, he provided an articulate response by saying a brief statement in Spanish. His response to the question was that “I grew up in a Spanish-speaking environment and I was quick to learn the language.” One could conclude how good he was at speaking Spanish by the way he responded to questions.

Family Roles and Organization

The domain encompasses the relationship of individuals inside and outside the family. They include the head of the household, roles played by the family, child-bearing practices, and developmental responsibilities of children and socials status. What are some of the common roles within your family system? “The husband’s role is to head the family and work during the day. At night, the husband could go out and meet friends. The wife plays domestic roles that include caring for the family. Children help the family by doing housework, and those who are lucky will attend schools.”

Workforce Issues

The concepts in this domain include how the country of origin practices health care, gender roles, individualism, and assimilation. What are the gender roles in your community? “In a Hispanic speaking community, men have a higher status compared to others.” They make all decisions because they are the leader of the household. Women experience little respect. They work inside the home, and their decisions are considered less valuable.”

Biocultural Ecology

Biocultural ecology includes the physical, biological and physiologic differences that come because of ethnic and racial origin. A physician needs to consider this domain because the ethnic and racial variation of a person alters how the body metabolizes drugs. What health conditions exist in your family? “Obesity is a major medical problem in our family. It is unfortunate that we live a more sedentary lifestyle and use a higher-calorie diet.” According to Juckett (2013), limited medical access exposes the Hispanics to greater risks.

High-risk Behaviors

High-risk behaviors are actions or lifestyles that might ruin the health of a person. They include a lack of physical activities, avoiding safety measures, the use of alcohol, tobacco, and recreational drugs (Purnell, Xu, Leca, & Hall, 2013). Do you use recreational drugs? Carlos enjoys using reactional drugs because of his background. Mexico is a country that is known for illegal drugs and it is his country of origin; he came with the same behavior to the United States. “I use drugs such as alcohol, crack cocaine, marijuana, and tobacco.”


The concepts in nutrition involve how the culture perceives and use food during illness, availability of food, and rituals, and taboos associated with food. Which foods do you eat to maintain good health? Mexican-Americans believe that a person’s good health is because of God’s reward or luck (Juckett, 2013). Similarly, in the Mexican community, a person will maintain good health by taking several course meal. “For breakfast, I will take coffee or fruit and before noon, I will eat bread and fruit juice.” “The most important meal is in the afternoon and includes soup, rice, and meat or chicken. Dinner will be the same as the afternoon meals; however, it will include coffee and milk.”

Pregnancy and Childbearing Practices

The domain entails fertility practices, the culture’s view on pregnancy, taboo practices, and birth control methods. According to your culture, what should women do to ensure they deliver a healthy baby and maintain their health? “Mexican-Americans believe that the cause of a person’s health is due to the balance of the hot and cold forces.” Therefore, a person should not combine hot food with another hot food but should use cold food. “After a woman has endured a hot experience through delivering a baby, she should eat cold food to help restore balance.”

Death Rituals

The domain defines how people and their culture view death, the ritual used, and the practices involved in preparation for burial. What are the funeral rituals in your culture? “In our culture, the funeral procedure includes a mass conducted by a priest in the church.” The culture accepts females to show open expression of grief. On the other hand, it is against the norm for men to break down into tears. “After a church service, a traditional burial follows whereby friends and relatives accompany the family for the burial process.”


Spirituality includes the strength and behaviors that instill meaning in the life of a person. In addition, it entails the use of prayer and religious beliefs (Shen, 2015). Do you consider your family to be very religious? “We are Roman Catholics because of our Hispanic background.” Carlos continued by saying that “My parents are staunch Christian, and we all go for church services on Sunday.” Spirituality and religious practices influence the lives of many Mexican-American (Hendrickson, 2013). They are primary factors regarding the maintenance of health and longevity in the well-being of a person during chronic illnesses, coping with stress and bereavement.

Health Care Practices

The domain describes concepts that relate to traditional practices, barriers to health care, type of treatment accepted by the culture, and issues such as organ donations and rehabilitations. Are you against organ donation or transplantation? Christianity and particularly the Catholics advocate organ donation. “Being in a member of the Catholic Church allows me to donate or transplant my organs.” “Conversely, my suffering from obesity would limit my chances to donate organs.” The knowledge of the patient’s health care practices assists the physicians to assess the patient and provide an appropriate education (Purnell, Xu, Leca, & Hall, 2013).

Health Care Practitioners

The domain explains concepts that include the status of the practitioner in the culture, the role of gender, and the type of practitioners used in the culture (Hayward, & Charrette, 2012). Do you value the services provided by healthcare providers such as nurses, physicians, and traditional practitioners? “All healthcare providers do outstanding jobs to ensure patients get the right treatment. For the case of serious illnesses, the Mexican-Americans seek the services of qualified doctors. However, in situations of minor illnesses, they value folk medicine.”

Discussion on the Client’s View towards Health and Illness

Cultures in our societies have a system of health beliefs that explains the causes of illness, their treatment, and the practitioners to involve in the process. The existence of patient education and the influence of culture determines how the individual receives information from the health care providers and their willingness to use (Tuck, Moon & Allocca, 2010). Industrialized societies perceive diseases to have occurred due to natural scientific phenomena while some societies consider it believes that they experience illness because of the supernatural phenomena.

My client is a Hispanic with a Mexican origin, and they share a strong heritage that encompasses the family and religion. On important issues that entail health and illness, the community consults older family members and relatives. They consider illness as a divine punishment from God because of the sinful behaviors of the people.

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According to the client, in situations of a health issue, the patient would prefer to consult a traditional practitioner. Moreover, Mexican-Americans have a strong belief that the balance between the forces of hot and cold represents health. Therefore, in circumstances when we have an imbalance of the forces, an illness would occur. On the same note, they would consider treating a hot illness with a cold substance (Juckett, 2013). Conversely, in the case of cold illness, they will treat it with a hot substance.

Lastly, the client had special medical concerns on the significant obstacles they face to obtain health care services. Most medical facilities lack trained interpreters and therefore, it is hard for them to communicate with nurses and other physicians. Similarly, their inabilities to afford health insurance give them the option to use self-treatments.

Client’s Current Health Status

The health status encompasses the effect of disease on the patient’s function according to the patient report. Patients focus on the complete range of their health status whereas the nurses focus on the diagnosis of the illness and the assessment of symptoms (Shen, 2015). Therefore, physicians use standardized surveys to measure the health status of the patients and use the information to make decisions regarding the outcome. The client is suffering from obesity due to taking a high-calorie diet and living a sedentary lifestyle. From the customer information, genetic factors and high carbohydrates intake play critical roles in their health conditions. The rate of obesity is high among Hispanics compared to non-Hispanics.

Client’s Use of Traditional Therapies or Practitioners

In situations of minor illnesses, the client uses the services of traditional practitioners as an alternative to scientific medical practices. The most common type of Mexican-American folk medicine that the client uses is curanderismo (Hendrickson, 2013). The curanderas are the traditional healers, and the client would consult them because he believes that the practitioners have a gift from God to heal sick people. In circumstances when the client suffers from a natural illness, he will consult the curanderas (Hendrickson, 2013). The consultation of the traditional healer would occur either before or concurrent with seeking the service of professional medical care. During the treatment, the traditional healers will use herbs, oil, religious symbols, and manipulate spiritual forces to help in healing the patient.


The interview was captivating, and I learned a lot from Interviewing Carlos. The cultural differences that exist in society are astounding. My findings from this interview include the following. Despite the differences in culture, communities share the same goals. They all believe in the existence of God and the power of healing comes from Him. The health care providers consider the importance of honoring family values and roles. Interview findings show that males are the dominant group in the Mexican-American Community. Since we share some goals, cultural competence would allow the inclusion of men in decisions that concern family health.

American heritage has influenced my client’s culture. They have affected the way they grieve, use of traditional practitioners, and communication. He wishes that American Communities could change and follow the Mexican lifestyle. I will consider this as a positive idea since it would help to solve some of the differences that exist in our communities.


Example #5

My cultural interview was with a coworker, 28 years of age, and of Hispanic descent. While conducting the interview I learned a lot about the Hispanic culture. Many Hispanics like to be called Latino (a). Some do not like to be referred to as Mexican when they are from other countries other than Mexico. Hispanics also use slang within their culture just like African Americans. Within the culture, the male is the dominant figure in the household. All the decisions that affect the family go through the father. If there is no father in the house, the oldest son fulfills that role.

The older son may drop out of school so that they may assist the mother at the house in the absence of the father. Many Hispanics usually marry fairly young and start to raise a family. When they get older they usually do not marry but live together like husband and wife. The average number of members within the family is 7 including the mother and father. The mother is usually the caregiver and stays home to look after the children. The oldest daughter steps in and helps the mother out whenever she can. The grandparents are considered the second mom and dad.

Their cousins are regarded as an extension of their siblings. My interviewee has 2 brothers who she is very close to. If her brothers tell her to do something even at age 28 she really makes sure she follows their directives. Her mother is divorced from her father, but he still plays an active part in her and her brothers’ life. The relationship between the mother and father is still very close even though they are not married. The relationship between the mother’s new boyfriend and ex-husband is very cordial and respectful in an attempt to maintain a loving and positive environment for their family.

The Hispanic family is outgoing and likes to have fun. Usually, they have many gatherings and invite friends, family, and extended members to these functions.


Example #6 – Interesting ideas

  1. What is your name, gender, current residence?
  2. What is your cultural and/or ethnic origin?
  3. What is the size of your primary and secondary family?
  4. What is your family structure? (example Matriarchal, Patriarchal, etc.)
  5. What is the primary language spoken in your family? Any foreign-language speakers?
  6. What is your social class?
  7. What is the primary difference between American culture and their culture?
  8. What kind of food do you eat? Any ethnic foods?
  9. What are your holidays and traditions?
  10. What kind of government system do they have in your home country?
  11. What kind of health care system do you have in your country?
  12. What kind of fashions, such as clothes, etc. do people wear?
  13. What kind of economic system does your country have?
  14. What are the primary industries? How do people make a living?
  15. What kind of housing does your country have?
  16. How do people spend their leisure time? Sports? Movies, etc.?
  17. What are some of your cultural customs.
  18. What are some of your dating habits? Chaperoned? Unchaperoned? Age?
  19. Have you noticed any differences between personal hygiene habits here as opposed to your own country?
  20. What is a woman’s role in society? How do you see it as compared to here?
  21. How much importance is placed on education?
  22. Tell us about the laws, criminal acts and punishment? Gun violence?
  23. Is military service mandatory?
  24. How Americanized are you?
  25. Who are some of the important people within your culture?
  26. What is the primary religion of your culture? How important is it?

Are you asking any person right here to reply to these questions, after which you’ll be able to use them in your mission? Because I feel you are lacking the factor. I’m British, I was once born in Britain and I reside in Britain. I would reply to the one’s questions however part of them would possibly not make the experience and the opposite part will likely be beside the point. You have got to get off the laptop, pass out into the REAL WORLD (I understand, the surprise) and discover a person who lives on your group (and that suggests WHERE YOU LIVE, now not *on-line* group) and interview them. It would possibly not be rough; so much western nations in this day and age are a melting pot of races and cultures.

You have got to listen to them speak as well. Nobody will provide particular, sincere solutions while they are writing; it is so much simpler to get the whole tale and fascinating anecdotes while you are head to head. And I’d edit one of the most questions as good. “Tell me approximately your existence”? In what admire? Everyday existence? Life in evaluation to their nation of foundation? Life in evaluation to the natives in their host nation? Life historical past? Life aspirations? Long existence milk? Seriously, do not be lazy. You’ll get a few rather fascinating solutions if you’re making the hassle.

  1. Your first name (doesn’t have to be real)
  2. What culture do you consider yourself a part of?
  3. What is something that makes your culture unique?
  4. What values are important in your culture?
  5. What are some stereotypes associated with your culture?
  6. How do you feel about those stereotypes?
  7. What is your favorite thing about your culture?

1) Domenico

2) I’m Italian, so I’m not an Anglo.

3) The cuisine, art and cars.

4) From personal experience, family. Being together as well as cooking has always been important to me. I have a very close family.

5) Italians are obnoxious, greasy, and gangsters.

6) They are stupid stereotypes and I don’t like them, but I try not to let it get to me.

7) The food, usually. Especially cannolis and focaccia.


1 Emily

2 British but Americanized

3 supposed democracy and civilization

4politeness freedom

5 scones tea and being grumpy

6 probably true but I don’t fit that because I’m weird and want to live in the USA

7 I like the sheep that live here (not even joking. I’m a vegetarian and nothing is very good about England)




3 Dude its germany 😉 This alone makes it unique 🙂

But jokes aside germany is a wonderfull country.

4. i guess the same values like in the reszt of the so called civillized word.

5. Nazis, Sauerkraut

6. I don´t care!

7. German Black metal and gothic culture (But this is just me)

1. Where exactly are you from?

2.Around how old are you?

3. What is your marital Status?

4. Do you have any children?

5. Why did you come to the U.S?

6. How old were you when you came here?

7. Did you experience any type of culture shock when you came?

8. Did the media in any way change your perceptions of the U.S. before and after your arrival?

9. How was your experience while you where here in the U.S.?

10. While you were here was there anything that you missed from your home country?

11. Where there any aspects of the American culture you found unusual when you first came?

12.”Ethnocentrism” is a belief that the ways of one’s culture are the only proper ones. Did you believe this to be true, and if so, how?

13. Are there any different cultural customs or attitudes in your home country that differ from here in America? (marriage forms- monogamy, polyandry, or polygyny; male and female household roles; and mate chioce- how marriage partners are chosen)

14. Where there any economic differences between your home country and the U.S. that you noticed?

15. Did your experience here change any aspects of your own life? If so, how?


1. Denmark, have lived in outer Copenhagen, and in the Roskilde area.


3. single.

4. No.

5. For an adventure, and maybe thought I would belong.

6. Have moved there twice, when I was just born and my parents moved, and when I was 16.

7. Yes, when I was in New York a bit. I thought I was used to foreign cities, thought I was used to the US, but NY was just not for me. And I think the longer I lived in rural Texas, the more culture-shocked I got.

8. A bit I suppose. Of course, I knew there were lower class and problems, but that’s not what I associated with the US. And I always got mad and said it was misrepresentative when people/the media said something negative about the US. Now I tend to agree.

9. I had many good experiences, and I will never regret it, but now I know that the US is not for me.

10. Not so much the material things, though I did long for some proper dark bread and fresh fish. I missed the culture though.

11. EVERY aspect of the culture. I was shocked by how conservative it was. Of course, I did live in rural Texas, but all of the US is way more religious, old fashioned, puritan-ish, strict about authorities such as teachers, parents, any adult, etc., oppressive to young people, to women, nationalistic, conservative!!

12.No. No culture set is perfect, that’s why we should go abroad and learn from each other.

13. Yes, in the US, it seems like a high priority to get married. In Denmark, it is not. Also, even in liberal areas, it is still considered the decent thing to do, to get a piece of paper on it, especially if you are going to have kids, it is very unusual not to get married. From what I’ve seen, it is also most common that the man is the head of the house. In Denmark, I think it is the other way around, that the woman is in charge.

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Interviewing Someone From Another Culture Essay. (2020, May 09). Retrieved March 22, 2023, from