Grade school was my first introduction to the American culture. Throughout schooling one of the first things I learned was that I have a voice and to use it. Amendment #1 Freedom of Speech. In Asian culture, you're taught to only speak when spoken to. Never ever question your elders even if they're wrong because it's "talking back". And finally, don't make a fuss about anything to others outside your immediate family because it would bring shame to them. In America, we're taught to speak up for what you believe in, encourage questions and opinions, and be loud because you'll get noticed that way. This was my first lesson learned on the differences between the American and Asian cultures.
High school was definitely a game changer. I grew further and further from my parents and I didn't understand the cultural differences and thought they were just big meanies! My American friends had boyfriends and their parents were ok with it but I couldnt. My American friends spent time with their parents and talked to them like they would their friends but I didn't. So many differences caused me to withdraw my relationship with my parents and I always thought they were just too busy or didn't care.
Later in my college years I realized that they acted a certain way and I acted a certain way because of our upbringings and our cultures. My parents worked ALL THE TIME because they were trying to give me a better life. Sure I heard that while growing up but it's true. Yes, my parents were never there because they worked a lot but I'm the one that had a brand new car before I even had my license. Yes, my parents didn't want me to date in high school but they did it so I wouldn't grow up too fast and have to face the emotion of heartache at such a young age.
Now as a young adult, I ask myself what is it going to be like when I raise my kids? Am I going to be like my parents? Or am I going to do everything differently? Only time will tell. Did you go through the same thing like I went through? What are your cultural upbringing stories like? Feel free to share them in the comment box.