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by Ms. OzgenOktem Kose

When we start to think about culture bumps or somebody asks us what the culture bump is, we first say that it is a cultural difference or maybe a cultural shock. It consists of foods, habits and behaviors. In my opinion, when two people meet, the most important thing in their conversation is their perceptions. We can evaluate these perceptions in two ways – one of them is people who are from different countries and the other one is people who are from the same country and sometimes the same city.

Every culture has different components because their ancestors come from different countries. Moreover, their history, hardships, wars, happiness, religions differ from other countries. That is why each culture is unique. As an international student, we always face these cultural differences. Sometimes people can notice our look and ask why we are looking at them. We have an answer which is we are trying to learn about you, become accustomed to your behaviors. I strongly believe that cultural differences provide us with the possibility of being insightful.

To illustrate, when I came to the United States, I watched people’s behavior. In my country most students do not bring their lunch or coffee. They buy these products from restaurants. However, in the United States most students bring their lunch. Moreover, thanks to culture bump courses, when I see different things, I am not shocked. I try to understand them. In my opinion, I am more respectful of other people and their cultures than when I first came here. If we do not think that we have differences regarding people who come from different countries or we change our mind, we will be more neutral and understand other people. That is why changing our perceptions has a vital role in the Culture Bump Approach and in understanding other people.

In the second place, most people think that people who are living in the same country do not face culture bumps. However, it is very crucial for understanding the Culture Bump Approach in my opinion. Since culture bump does not always come from people’s religion, race, age and common history. It depends only on people’s behaviors and especially their perceptions.

To illustrate, when I met my husband, I couldn’t understand some of his behaviors and speech. Like me, he did not understand my behavior and speech. We are from the same country, religion, race and have a common history. When I take these culture bump courses, I noticed that people can face culture bumps with everybody – even those who come from the same country. It depends on our perceptions. He understood me in a different way whereas I understood him from a different viewpoint. When our perceptions change, differences will be more normal for us.

Taking everything into account, culture bump theory broadens my horizon and gives me a different insight. As an international student, when I meet anybody, I try to be neutral about his or her behavior. I try to evaluate people and their behaviors wihtout thinking about my culture. Even if we come from the same country, we can face culture bumps because I know that these differences come from our perceptions. The more perceptions change, the more neutral we become.

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