Intercultural Communications: Interview with an Immigrant
The United States of America is literally full of immigrants. In 2016, the part of immigrants in the general US population constituted 27% ("Frequently Requested Statistics On Immigrants and Immigration in The United States"). The girl I interviewed is from Eastern Europe, namely from Ukraine. Her name is Lena, she is 21 and she came to the United States to study in the university. Our talk allowed me to look at the US with the eyes of a foreigner for a while and at the same time I learned more about people from Ukraine and their mentality.
We met in a cozy coffee shop and talked while drinking coffee. Lena`s English is great, she has only a slight accent. I asked her to teach me some words in her native language, which is Ukrainian, and some in Russian, which is also very wide-spread in Ukraine. However, that was an almost impossible challenge for me as well as “for many other foreigners” as Lena said. According to her, Ukrainian and Russian are really difficult languages to study if you are not a native speaker.
Lena does not consider herself a religious person, however she pointed out that Orthodox Christianity is a dominant religion in Ukraine. Moreover, it plays a very important role in the process of shaping Ukrainian mentality. Christian holidays and traditions are core for Ukrainians, they have national days-off for such kinds of holidays (e. g., Christmas, Easter, Trinity feast, etc.) ("Holidays in Ukraine. Ukrainian Celebrations - Bestofukraine.Com - The Best Travel Guide to Ukraine"). Lena pointed out that they are not the only holidays in Ukraine, however, they are one of the most important ones.
Lena has her parents and sister in Ukraine. She told me that her grandparents live separately from them, however they used to form one household with her family. According to her, it is really common in Ukraine for several generations to live under one roof. While we were speaking on family in Ukraine, Lena mentioned that most of Ukrainian society is inclined to conservatism in what relates to family issues. A lot of people are acting against LGBT community rights and propagate patriarchal values, which “definitely does not make me [Lena] happy. However, there are a lot of people fighting for the equal rights for everyone in Ukraine too”.
When I asked Lena about the dress-code in Ukraine, she laughed and said that there was no specific dress-code in her country. In fact, it is the same as for any European country, or the US. “The only thing you should take into consideration is season and weather. We have both extremely cold and extremely hot days at home”, she responded. Generally, Ukraine does not differ significantly from its European neighbors in what relates to its “life patterns”. What really makes it a bit different is “its Soviet past and its patterns remaining in the country’. Among them there are, for example, high rates of corruption and ineffective bureaucracy. …