About the Author
MakintheBacon$ is a personal finance/lifestyle blogger who enjoys writing about her own experiences in life and finance. When she’s not blogging she can be found at the gym motivating people, in the kitchen baking cupcakes, riding her bike here and there, travelling to an exotic destination or on the couch with a glass of white wine and a good book.
There are many factors that determine who we are as a person: friends, family, upbringing, environment, socioeconomic status and of course culture. For some of us, our families may have lived in North America for many generations. Some of us may be first-generation American born or first-generation Canadian born. Some of us may have immigrated to North America when we were very young and grew up here. Whereas some of us may have just recently arrived and are experiencing somewhat of a culture clash.
Interracial Relationships and Marriages
I am currently in an interracial relationship. In fact, all my relationships have been interracial. Even my own background is a melting pot of different races. Several of my relatives have interracial marriages and relationships as well. Nowadays it is just the norm. It makes me sad knowing that not too long ago, interracial relationships and marriage was against the law. Imagine being told who you can and cannot be with, based on the colour of your skin.
With the abundance of interracial relationships, there is the growing trend of interracial marriages. I haven’t been to many weddings with emphasis on a particular culture, but I am well aware that certain cultures have certain traditions in that the weddings tend to be very big and elaborate. They make weddings a HUGE deal, thus spending a HUGE amount of money. It boggles my mind how people will go to such great lengths and pay a ton of money for one event. Shouldn’t the wedding really be about having your loved ones with you to celebrate the special occasion?
Cultures and Their Values
Some cultures are well-known for being thrifty, cheap whatever you want to call it. Some are known for throwing their money around like its nothing. Some are known for having a strong business sense and being successful with making money. Obviously it is NOT true for everyone who is of that culture, but there are enough people who fit the bill in order to consider it a generalization. I came across an interesting article: Chinese Money Habits- How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money. The author is from China and moved to the US when she was a child. She mentions how frugality is a concept that has been taught to the Chinese for thousands of years. One point that stood out was that cash gifts are given to children for Chinese New Year and their birthdays. It was considered the best gift because you can do anything with it. However in North America, cash is considered thoughtless and instead gift cards are considered better gifts or actual gifts (but useless or tacky) because more thought was put into it. I’m sure we’ve all received gifts that were useless and wish they just gave us cash instead. I just recently celebrated my birthday this month and simply asked for cash because I knew it would be put to good use. It also took the pressure off my family stressing what to get me for my birthday.
Different Cultures Value Different Things
In Secrets to Understanding Other Cultures: The countries Japan, France, Spain and Italy are considered to be craftsman cultures. These particular cultures value art, literacy over money and power. Great attention and detail is paid to food, fashion and packaging. Can you say sushi and bento box?
In contrast, countries such as America and China are examples of business cultures. Business cultures consider money and power to be of more value. While the craftsman strives to craft one sword with the perfect balance of strength lightness and beauty, the businessman builds a factory to pump out swords for the masses with the best price in mind.
How Other Cultures View North America
On an evening out with some friends a few years back, an exchange graduate student commented on how much money we spend here in North America. We did spend a lot of money that night. The evening consisted of dinner followed by an adult version of Chuck E. Cheese, with the only difference being that there was a bar in the middle of all the games. It was a lot fun, but a lot of money was spent too. That was just his own personal observation, but can it be a generalization? Is the majority of North America THAT obsessed with spending money?
Do you feel the way you were brought up has anything to do with your ethnicity’s way of valuing money? Do you feel your spending habits are dictated by the consumerist way of this continent?