Culture Shock In America

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Coming to a different country and not knowing what to expect is quite the feat. In addition to being physically lost and not knowing where things are, one can be culturally lost by not understanding the norms and superstitions. This can lead to the concept that is known as culture shock; this is “feelings of alienation and helplessness that result from rapid immersion in a new and different culture” (Nanda & Warms, 2017). Culture shock is a common aspect of immigration.
To further understand these feelings, I conducted an interview with a close friend’s mother. Her name is Altagracia Peña and she immigrated to the USA in 1984 when she was twenty-four years old. Altagracia immigrated with her immediate family in hopes of a better life. They all came to New York from a small town in the Dominican Republic. She had started working at age eight and saved up for years to be able to support her family and eventually move to the USA. My first question for Altagracia was: what did you think of the USA when you arrived? She smiled and told me she thought it was amazing. She came from being poor and riding a horse around the dirt roads in her small home town. Altagracia had never been on a plane nor seen such a large city. Being in Flushing, Queens was interesting for her because food, clothes, and medical attention were all readily available and one didn’t have to drive far for them. Another thing that was very different for her was the weather, which varied a lot more in the US
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