Cultural Background Interview essay

The relation of different cultures in the present world has become diverse due to the extensive globalization that is taking place. The result of this is the adaptation, accommodation and assimilation into cultures all across the world. There can be observed different types of relationships among members of different societies, such as love, friendship, business relationships, etc. An African of Nigerian origin who lives in the US elucidated the nature of interpersonal relationships from where he comes from in an interview conducted on February 3, 2013. The interview revealed massive insight into the peculiarities of the culture of the Yoruba people who live in Nigeria.

The various relations that exist between the Yoruba fall into various categories that depend on the nature of the interpersonal relationship. Blood relations, marriages, objective relations, such as those at work, and shared experiences create the basis for interpersonal relationship in the Yoruba community just as they do in any other communities. The dimensions of the relationships are not similar in their aspects of communication or interactions; some base their relation on affiliation, others dictate control over others, and yet others influence the way people interact with those in the relationships.

Friendship within the Yoruba community centers on shared experiences among the community

This creates a society in which friends are of approximately the same age as they spend a significant amount of time together. Furthermore, initiation processes such as circumcision that usher young children into adulthood create friendly bonds. Initiation customs take place periodically taking groups of children of about the same age from all over the community to partake in them. The children are kept together in a secluded place for a while as they recuperate from the wounds of circumcision. This experience leads to the emotionally deep interaction among children as they empathize with each other’s problems and happy moments during this period. There is a need for openness on this scenario that creates intimate friendships, but in a collective manner. Since these relationships last a lifetime, dynamics come in as each person has to have their own family reducing the time spent with friends. The anxiety and uncertainty that arises from this change are solved by passive means as they accommodate each other’s progress in life and adapt to limited interaction. In the American context, the young and old have friendships showing age is not a key factor in determining friendships. The dynamics of the relationships come in where education, marriage or even death of one of the parties alters the friendship among the friends causing anxiety.

Dating among the Yoruba community is limited, as courtship is not encouraged among the youth

The society only encourages interaction between males and females that culminates in marriage. This makes the dating session extremely limited as it only occurs after engagement in an arranged marriage. The dynamics of such a relation vary depending on the financial and mutual respect issues within every family . Koester and Lustig label this dimension as an individualistic friendship. In the American culture, dating is prevalent as the young as well as the old take to dating considerably. Education and age change the relationship as maturity and commitments make one unable to partake in the behaviors that a relationship might have found its basis upon in the past. Anxiety and uncertainty in this interpersonal relation mostly are settled by interactive strategies as the couple try to sort out any alterations in the dynamics of the relationship.

The marriage customs in the Yoruba are stringent making marriage a compulsory passage for everyone. After initiation, one should not stay for long before getting married within the Yoruba society. The dimension of this relation falls under control as the male party heads such a relationship. The husband has the final say in numerous decisions the couple make like the number of children to have and where to stay. The duties of the wife are also of a servitude nature (though this is changing) making the man seem superior in the relationship.  There is an element of affiliation as the couple also relates romantically forming individualistic friendship. The dynamics of such a relationship includes the involvement of children within the picture that calls for an increment of responsibilities of the couple. Age is also a key factor that alters the dynamics of such a relationship. This happens as the couple becomes bored with each other with time reducing the thrills of the relationship. Passive strategies usually resolve this anxiety. Thus, the couple adjusts to each other by observation without the complaints. In the American society, marriage is less stringent, and one can marry at whatever age he/she wishes to do so. The dynamics include issues such as financial standings of the parties, external influences (like promiscuity) and age.

Thus, the Yoruba society treasures familial relations as they proceed well into the life of a married individual growing into an extended family from a nuclear family. However, gender dictates the relationships within families as males and females perform roles that are different. This leads to a superficial relation between the two factions within the family. The males within the family have an upper hand in numerous aspects as they are bound to receive inheritance from the parents. The dynamics of such family relations within the Yoruba community include the financial status of the family and respect it has in the society based on the number of males within it. Passive, interactive and active strategies – all find use in the family structure to solve anxiety and uncertainty. This is due to the broadness of the problems a family can face. In the American context in its turn, family is an extremely delicate structure that involves raising children in a highly volatile environment. The gender of a child does not determine his/her position in the family as evident in the sharing of inheritance by both sexes. The dynamics in an American family include divorcing parents (custody issues and financial settlements) and age as children move out in adulthood to become exclusively independent.

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Cultural Background Interview essay

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