Encounter with a Different Culture - Scholarship Essay Example

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The writer of this essay discusses one of the best opportunities, which have come his way from his high school that the exchange program took part in a different state where the participants came from different parts of the United States of America. They also came from diverse setting and cultures…
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Encounter with a Different Culture
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Encounter with a Different Culture Encounter with a Different Culture Being selected to join an exchange program in a different state is one of the best opportunities, which have come my way from my high school. The exchange program took part in a different state where the participants came from different parts of the United States of America. They also came from diverse setting and cultures. The main aim of the program was to enlighten and create awareness for high school students on different opportunities in different careers and the best colleges, which they can join, and how they can apply and win various scholarships that are offered by the federal government to different students.
For accommodation, each of us was assigned a room with a roommate when we were registering to join the program. In my case, my roommate was Asha, who came from a Muslim background. In my life, I had never ever interacted with Muslims since I had been raised in a staunch Christian home. I would hear of people saying that other religions had different ways of doing things, but I had no first-hand experience with then anyway.
My experience with Asha was great though I came to learn and understand some beliefs that I can call ‘weird’ to me somehow. On the first day, since she was the only friend whom I had interacted with, I spent most of my evening with her. The first thing, which amazed me, was that she had to wash her feet before praying. Additionally, she had to recite a number of verses from the Quran (Henningfeld, 2010).
With my curiosity, I asked her why she had to do, and she responded by telling me that their religion required them to do so. Further, she told me that they were supposed to pray at specific time where they had different prayer versions for different times of the day. This was totally opposite from what I practiced in Christianity. In my religion, one can pray at any time regardless of whether they are clean or dirty.
My curiosity never ended there; Asha had a distinctive way of dressing. According to their religion, a woman is supposed to cover her hair all the time. Sometimes it could be extremely hot, and I would her why she could not remove some clothes.
However, one thing, which I really liked with the Muslim community during the exchange program, is that they were very united in different activities. They dined together as they shared their daily experiences with other students from different states in the country. They also have a specific time of praying, unlike the Christian community which never united as some were protestants while others where Roman Catholics. Apart from that, I enjoyed learning a different culture and a different religion, as my friend was very friendly and an easygoing person.
At first, when I learnt that my roommate was a Muslim, I could say I was scared because I had never had an experience with people who came from other cultures. However, my feelings did not change my experience as I was able to interact easily and learn a number of things from my friend and their beliefs.
Henningfeld, D. A. (2010). Religion. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press. Read More
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