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Culture Smart!

As we are getting closer to our departure, we are learning more and more about the Moroccan culture and how we will be immersed in it. We spent a lot of time discussing different worldview tendencies, norms, societal expectations, and the Moroccan lifestyle in general.  Some of the things we’ve discussed are things that I have either seen in other countries or have heard about.  However, there are also things that have come to a surprise to me.  For example, we discussed a lot about privacy and what it means to us versus what it means to Moroccans — and perhaps others around the world.  Although privacy is very much an American ideal, it still comes as a shock to me when I realize how other countries view privacy.  I’m so used to keeping to myself and doing things on my own that I hardly realize that I very much enjoy my privacy.  This doesn’t mean I can’t adapt well to how others view privacy; I just never really gave it much thought.

One norm that might be difficult for me to adjust to is the concept of time.  In a recent trip to Peru, I had some trouble going with the flow.  I’m so used to having everything done at a set time and having to be at one place at a certain time that I hardly pay attention to what it means to me.  Thanks to the trip in Peru, I have learned that others don’t view time the same way we do (even if it took me the whole trip to figure it out).  We discussed in our previous class that time is not viewed the same way as in America.  It is much more go with the flow.  I have been mentally preparing myself to relax and slow down since it seems that that’s the way things will be in Morocco.

One worldview tendency that is reflected in the system is the view on family and tradition.  This is reflected in the norms concerning interaction, privacy, communication, and many others.  Throughout the book, it is evident that tradition, inside and outside of the family, is extremely important.  Everything is done in a way that either concerns family or tradition.  I am very excited to step out of my comfort zone and move from a very self-oriented society to a very family-oriented society.  This trip will broaden my worldview tendencies and help me interact with others on a more personal level.

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