The Cultural Dialogue Interview
For this assignment, I interviewed my best friend Saleem, who is from Pakistan. His culture is a lot different from my culture, that’s why, I thought that he would be able to give me information about his culture so that I can get a glance of it. The interview took place at his place in a pleasant atmosphere. I would say that this was an interview and a dialogue at the same time. I told him about my culture and he told me about his culture. It is always a good idea to know people from different cultures and know their cultures. We, as humans, consider each other really different but when we come closer, we find out that we are not that different after all. Following are the details of the interview.
I asked Saleem about how he defined his culture. He said that his culture is a way of life for him that is heavily influenced by his religious believes and the culture that has evolved at his region since centuries. In other words, his culture is a mixture of his religious believes and the social norms that are evolved over the past centuries.
Saleem told me about his family setup. That is something that I found to be really similar to my culture. For example he said that they have extended family structure with hundreds of people belonging to a single family. This is exactly how it is in my culture. We also have huge families and many more cousins who come together at different occasions.
In his culture in Pakistan, there is a democratic structure and the laws of the land are made by the parliament. But there also exists some traditions that resolve interpersonal issues without them being reported to the higher authorities like police. Elders come together and discuss issues that may have risen among people. Then these elders discuss different things and make a decision that is bound on both the parties. Both parties accept the decisions because elders representing both the parties are part of the dialogue and decision process.
The Pakistani society is becoming more open to accept the growing role of women. People now do not object working women. According to Saleem, a few years back, the situation was totally different as people used to feel bad about women working out of their homes and working in offices, banks and schools. I think that in my own society, we do not have such a place for women yet, but I guess we will have it soon as things are also progressing at our side as well.
The national language of Pakistan is Urdu, but there are also many regional languages that are spoken in Pakistan. English is used as an official language and all official work is done in English. According to Saleem, he has been learning Urdu and English since his childhood. That is why I have always found him fluent in English. I always used to think that why his English is so better than me. But now I know the reason behind it.
According to Saleem, people in Pakistan love cricket as it is the national sports of the country. Pakistan also won two world cups in the sports which is amazing. Saleem said that he is himself a good player of cricket but there are not a lot of people who play cricket here in the US so he has less opportunity to play cricket here.
Overall speaking, the interview helped me understand a different culture and also provide me an opportunity to frame the right questions. This interview also helped me compare my culture to another culture which was amazing. I look forward to such interviews in the future.