I am a citizen of Nepal, born and raised according to the Nepalese cultures and norms. Nepal is a country which is located in South Asia. In Nepal, I used to work as an Engineer in Radisson Hotel which is located in Kathmandu. I moved to live in the United States in America on September 2008 as a trainee in J1 VISA to work in Florida. I was terribly shocked to find out that in the USA there was no official language where only about 80% of the total population in the USA spoke English language which is commonly known as the American English.
In Florida, I worked for Four Seasons Resort in Florida as a lead engineer. I was able to catch the fast pace at Four Seasons which in May 2010 awarded me as Employee of the month. I worked for an average of 70 hours in a week which was remarkably different to the 8 hours a day which I used to work in Kathmandu in Nepal. I sometimes wished that I could still be living in the Nepal because adapting to another culture to any person it’s extremely difficult. I had a good and excellent command in English which made me interact with people easily.
I encountered a lot of changes in the culture, etiquette, and customs. The Nepalese culture which I was used to was composed of a code of manners, a dress code, rituals, norms of behaviors, and even a unique language which I found to be tremendously different in the USA where all their cultures, etiquettes and customs were different and they practiced everything that my culture proved to be unclean and unholy.
Life in the USA was magical because I truly enjoyed socializing with the many people that I was able to intermingle with either during my free time or during the times that I was working while interacting with clients, fellow employees, and my employers. People in the USA are extremely friendly and informal which I had never seen back in Nepal. The people were exceedingly talkative and they even went ahead on introducing themselves to total strangers like me which made me feel like I was just living with my family back in Nepal.
I found it very hard to understand what the shaking of head in the USA meant because in the Nepal, we used to shake and node our head up and down when we wanted to say no, and if we wanted to say yes, we shook our head side to side which was directly opposite to what people do in the USA. I also found out some other peculiar practices in the USA which are not practiced or are considered being bad in Nepal like the pointing of your finger at another person, they did not remove their shoes when entering their houses, and they eat beef. This experience of living in a westernized country was a very good experience to me since it taught me quite a lot in interacting with other people who were not from my own culture and practices.
I think my move to USA was very beneficial for me to learn about my job. I was able to focus on my work properly since I did not have any member of my family living in the USA. Because of my hard work, my superiors were able to notice my efforts and the made me the Supervisor of Engineers. This was a big motivation for me and I ended up dedicating almost all my efforts to the betterment of the Resort. I was further put in a program called “STEPS” which I am still currently going through up to date. This program is a supervisory development training at Four Seasons which is supposed to be completed in 10th week and the classes are 2 hours in a week. In August 2011, I was able to join college in the United States of America and this made me improve on my current skills. It also made me adjust to various culture, work environment and pressures.
My advice to other people is that they should try very much to move around the world and be able to intermingle with other cultures and with so doing they will be able to learn a lot of things that they are not exposed to. My work as a lead Engineer in Florida was a very challenging experience since I had not learned to live in the westernized culture which was completely different from the Nepal cultures which were very different.