In most cases, people tend to put little attention on their cultures and way of life until they find themselves far from home and start contrasting. For individuals to have a more productive life, they are required to become more sensitive to the cultural diversity of the people they live with while at the same time increasing their self-awareness. Appreciating the cultural differences among people around is the key to living harmoniously. Two cultures that have been sharing the same locality for a long time are Latino and the American cultures. Therefore, this paper delves on the differences and similarities of Latino culture and the American culture.
The first main dissimilarity between the Latino culture and that of the American people is in the structure of the family. For Latinos, it is not a surprise to have three or more generations living in similar households. They tend to have a close-knit family structure whereby the grandparents are left at home to take care of the children while their parents go to work. In fact, closeness and the emphasis on the wellbeing of all members of the family members makes the Latinos to be viewed as a group oriented with family get-togethers being one of the most common activities.
This differs from the American culture as they live with the nuclear families, but are not the primary caregivers of the children. The main similarity amid the two cultures as far as the family set up is concerned, is the fact that members of distinct families have the traditional structure of the family comprising of father, mother, and children. It is also common to find single families with either the father or mother and their children. Although the extended families do not live in similar households with the nuclear families, in some American families, the grandparents are the first priorities, and other responsibilities come second. For instance, in case of an emergency, other members of the family join hands in the support of the person in danger.
The second difference is in the cuisine of the two cultural groups. The Latinos traditional food is well known due to its unique flavors and colors. Latinos food is prepared with many spices and herbs that give it the distinct flavors. On the other hand, there is no food that is referred to as the traditional American food. Indeed, this is due to the reason that the United States is considered as the “melting point” of numerous cultures and heritages, which is a factor that makes cuisine to vary from locality to locality. In fact, the American food is highly influenced by people living in a certain area.
Another key difference between the Latinos and the Americans is in their spirituality and religious practices. Although the majority of Latinos and Americans populations practice Christianity, there is a difference in their Christianity religious practices. Most of the Latinos are Catholics with only a few numbers of individuals being Protestants. Unlike in the Latino culture, the majority of Americans are Protestants, though Catholics and other religions are practiced.
Educational attainment of the American population is characterized by graduating individuals, especially from high school and an increasing number of individuals who are graduating from college. The nation as a whole has increased numbers of people who are graduating with diplomas and degrees just as other developed countries. In contrast, the Latinos educational attainment is far much lower as compared to that of America. This is due to the fact that Latino communities are faced with a wide range of educational issues that hinder them from reaping the most out of schooling.
Day of the Dead
The celebrations of the “day of the dead” have its origins in the Mexicans culture including the Latinos. The Latinos believe that during the midnight of October 31st, the entry to heaven opens and lets the spirits of the young children who are departed to come down to their families. November 2nd marks the D-day of the occasion as the spirits of the demised adults are allowed by their supernatural being to come down and reunite with their families and friends. Latinos celebrate the two days with caricature of death, which is similar to the Halloween festival. Although the American culture did not have such celebrations in her history, they are slowly acculturating with the Latinos. Such days are marked with art classes, parties, and exhibitions, as well as parades.
The Latino clothing has similarities to the garments and styles worn by individuals in our contemporary societies across the globe. Nevertheless, the use of agave, which is a bark elements made out of cotton, uncovers the unique cultural roots of Latino’s clothing. America, on the other hand, is known as the hub of fashion and design, with polo shirts, jeans, and shorts being the most common causal outfits and suits being the main official garments.
As it is palpable from the above discussion, it is evident that there are differences and similarities between the Latino culture and the American culture, including clothing, religion, day of the dead, food, and family to name but a few. Any nation with individuals of diverse cultures ought to ensure that individuals understand the other cultures as well as those of their group to enhance peace and harmonious coexistence.