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Dr. K

When I first moved to Colorado I had not live in a rural area. I grew up in Jackson, MS and lived for several years in Miami, Fla. and Nashville, Tn. before moving to Colorado. One early morning I drove through farmlands to return to Greeley, Co where I lived at the time. It was very chilly. I saw 3 Canadian geese in a plowed corn field. Oh, dear, I thought as I drove directly by them, they are frozen. I stopped the car, got out and yelled at them. They didn't move, Then I honked the horn. Still, no movement. Behind the geese about 100 yards, I saw movement in a stack of hay bales. Then I saw men with guns inside the hay bale stack staring at me! I jumped in my car and as I drove away, it hit me (not a bullet). They were hunters, the geese were decoys. My welcome to rural life.

Wykena L. Brown

My first culture shock was when I graduated from high school and finally left Mississippi to visit my aunt for the summer in New York. It was a big shock to me, because I have lived in the Delta all of my life. I told my mother that I wanted to visit and if I liked it I would move up there. Well things changed after I arrived. Everything was so big. There were so many people. You could not learn your neighbors because there were too many or looked too strange to talk to. I was always watching my back in fear, because of all the stories that were told of robbery. We had to go places by cab, bus, or train. I couldn't drive, because I didn't know my way around. I was so shocked that I came home and told myself that I will NEVER live in the city. It is okay to visit, but I love the country!

Marcus Johnson

My first culture shock was when I graduated from high school and arrived at Delta State. My hometown is 80% black and the high school was about 96% black. But on my first day of class here I was surronded by white people everywhere I went (not a bad thing). I had two classes where myself and my roommate were the only people of color in the room. It was a first for me. "Renaisance", I had never heard of it. I felt as if I was on another planet. But when I finally decided to let down my guard I experienced great things. I had my share of racial tensions here but all in all it was best for me. It taught me how to appreciate people for people and to never forget that know matter how much people claim things have changed certain aspects of the south will never change.

Linda Ayegbaroju

My first culture shock was when my family move from Chicago, IL. to Tutwiler, Mississippi. It seemed like we went from having everything to nothing. I was not use to traveling 15 miles to go to the nearest grocery/retail store. I did not know insects like mosquitos, big water bugs, and spiders. When I saw my first snake, I was about to die. I was also not use to the extreme heat or the school's busing system. When I was sent to the cotten field; I thougth I had went my to slavery times. I saw children walking around without any shoes and driving trucks at the age of nine. It took me about three years to adjest to Mississippi and now I cannot see myself living in Chicago, IL.

Kim Nance

My first experience with culture shock was when I lived in Ecuador, South America. I grew up in Brownsville, TX, just on the Texas/Mexico border. I was aware of cultural differences because I have lived with them all my life. When I moved to Ecuador in the mid 80's, I thought of it as a big adventure. I really did not experience culture shock when I arrived there. I was used to Spanish speaking people and different cultures. I had lived in Ecuador for about a year. I returned home for Christmas (to Brownsville)and spent almost a month and half with my family. We did all the traditional Christmas things, tree, presents, food and the like. When I returned to Ecuador that February, I experienced a good dose of culture shock. I remember driving to the town where I lived, looking out of the window. I saw people living in poverty who had no running water and barely any food. Children, who should have been in school, were sitting on the side of the road trying to sell their arts and crafts to any tourist that would stop. I remember thinking to myself how lucky I was to be from a country where I had running water and 3 meals a day. I suppose the fact that I had just returned from a bountiful Christmas holiday made me realize how fortunate I was to be from such a great country. The next year, I stayed in Ecuador for Christmas. Three neighborhood children came to my house on Christmas Eve and sat around my Christmas tree ( a friend had ordered a tree for me from the Andes mountains)and sang Christmas carols in Spanish. I will never forget that Christmas.

Takisha Causey

After my first year in college, I decided to go to Atlanta, Ga to stay with my cousin Tony. I went to stay with my cousin because I needed some money for the upcoming school year. I never thought that college would be so expensive, so I needed some money real bad. This was my first time being away from my little hometown of Shaw. Throughout my high school years, I often traveled but I never stayed longer than a day or two. When I was in Georgia, I had a job at Wal-Mart and Taco Bell. First of all, in the apartment complex we stayed at there were people from all over the world. The apartment complex I stayed at in Shaw was all African Americans. I was not use to the different people, the recreational center,the gym, and the other things that were there. However, while working at Wal-Mart, I was very shocked by all the different people who were working with me. It was amazing to learn so much from other people. While working at Taco Bell, I worked a lot with Hispanics. I was shocked to know that they did not know how to speak English and I was having a hard time communicating with them. This made this job very frustrating for me. That was the summer I had my first culture shock.

Bobbie Amos

My first culture shock was when I visited my siblings in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I was born and raised in Greenville in a neighborhood where all African Americans lived. When I was in Fort Lauderdale, I ran across a lot of people who looked like an African American but wasn't. After talking with a few of these people, it turned out that these people were Haitians. This was my first culture shock!

Jerome Daniels

The culture shock I encountered happened in l980 when I visited Los Angeles, CA. I had the opportunity to meet a wide range of nationalities of people, such as Mexicans, Japanese, South Ameicans, Koreans, and Vietnamese. Most of the corner stores such as the Seven-Elevens were owned and operated by Koreans as opposed in the Delta, where the stores are owned and operated by Chinese. It was amazing to me to realize how effective the melting pot is in this country. In addition, I noticed how these people communicated in harmony. I realized then that the Mississippi Delta is limited for exposure to different ethnic groups.

Rosalynn Lampkin

My first cultural shock was during the summer before my senior year of high school. I visited my uncle for the first time in Chicago. All of his neighbors were hispanic, I was really shocked because I grew up around African Americans. The funny thing about my visit was my friend girl I walked to school with was originally from Chicago and I knew her mother was black but I didn't know her father. Another thing that I didn't know was one of my uncle's neighbors was her father. I knew she would visit her father every summer, but I didn't know it was next door to my uncle. So that summer we got a chance to hang out and I learned a lot about her entire family. The older generation spoke very little english, but the younger generation were very fluent in english. I really enjoyed myself.

Marie Herrin

My first culture shock was when I was 14 years old. I went on a mission trip to Mexico. We went to one of the poorest parts, were people lived in the garbage dumps. I could not believe my eyes. This people had house right in the middle of the garbage dump. The children wore very little clothes and did not have any shoes. I remember thinking to myself how could people live like this but it was exceptable in there society. I remember the children would get so excited when we gave them candy, they had never had candy before. I come back with a lot of gratitude in my heart.

Gina Exum

Well, I guess I'm just sheltered, but I have lived all of my life in the delta. It has always been home to me, so I know of no other life. During my adult life, I had the opportunity to go on a cruise to Puerto Rico. I did not know what to expect. Everyone told me to be very careful. I watched a video and it told of people that would pose as taxi drivers and would take you out in the country and rob you. You had to look for a certain color tag on the cars that were legitimate cab companies. We took a tour of the country and saw where some of these people lived in huts. It was just amazing to me that a world like this existed.

Latita Harden

My first experience to culture shock is when I moved to MS from Indianapolis. I moved here my junior year in high school. On they way down here we stopped in Nashville at a cafe. A lot of the men were wearing cowboy hats and a lot of "country gear". My first thought was, "Does everybody in Mississippi dress like this cuz if so, I got to go back home!" I saw so many animals right from the highway. I thought I was moving to the farm capital of the world. Everybody talked so different. It was hard trying to fit in. I was the weird girl at school for a while because I was different to them. Because of my charm and grace, I soon began to fit right in. Now when I talk everybody thinks I'm originally from here.

brenda kemp

My first experience with culture shock was when I went to Dallas Texas to visit my cousin. We went site seeing around Dallas. She took me down town which was really beautiful. As we were leaving the area she wanted me to see that it wasn’t beautiful everywhere. So she drove to another area down town and I couldn’t believe what I saw. People had shopping carts with all the belongings pushing them around. Other people were sitting and lying around under the bridge. I had heard about homeless people but have never seen anything like that before in my life. It was very sad to see so many people in that situation.

Patricia Sials

My first culture shock was my visit to Detroit Michigan several years ago. I am from the Mississippi Delta. I was born and raised here. I went to Detroit one summer and I assummed every one was as friendly as Mississipians. I was wrong. The culture of most Mississippians is to speak or wave at people as you met them. In Detroit, people stare at you very hard if you even think about waving at them. I am not talking about neighbors, some of them speak, but in shopping malls and at movie theaters, people do not want you to speak to them. I was a stranger in a strange city. They actually thought something was wrong with me. My sister informed me that people are not friendly in Detroit. People mind their own business and they do not waste anytime trying to speak or wave to people,especially if they do not know you. It was really shocking to me to see so many cold hearted individuals. It probably was shocking to them to see a person waving and speaking to them.

Ada Edwards

My first time experiencing cultural shock was during my freshman year at the University of Southern Mississippi. The university was so different from the three schools I had visited. The campus was beautiful and the men and women upper class dorm, Hillcrest and Elam Arms had there own swimming pool and cafeteria apart from the Commons (main cafeteria) and the Natatorium (main swimming pool). USM provided a variety of services and entertainment that Mississippi Valley State University and Alcorn State University did not offer. Some of my classes like history had over a hundred or more students in the classroom which was something else I was not use to seeing. Note, this was my first time going off to college, but I visited Valley, Delta State and Alcorn all during my high school days and on other occasions. I also thought that the differences in the campus landscape and resources were because one school was predominately white and the other two were predominately black schools, but when I attended Delta State, I knew that race was not the only factor. Even though race played a major part, to me Delta State ranked below USM in looks and other resources also. I have matured and now I realize that looks do not amount to much, what is important is what the school has to offer me in order to reach my goals with less headaches and money out of my pocket.

Abby Rowland

My senior year, I visited Washington, D.C., for the second time. This time, I went with a group of high school students from my school. We met other high school students from around the country. I can just remember how we all talked differently. Once many found out that our group was from Mississippi, they kept asking if everyone had a rebel flag and other things typically associated with Mississippi. Our group told them that these things were really extras that movies use to make Mississippi stand out. We told them that we had normal people just like their states had normal people. I was naive in thinking that we were all alike, but obviously they had a different concept about Mississippi. That was really the first time that I realized people had set ideas about what people looked like and acted like based on their home state.

rosie gatlin

My first cultural shock was when I went to Miami,Florida one summer. I felt a little out of place. I came in contact with a lot of Hatian and Hispanic people. There language was very diffrent from where I come from. I had a difficult time relating to there English because of their accents.


Ethnocentrism is something that I believe, to be a apart of everyone's culture to a certain extent. In my opinion, no culture is superior than another, but there are those that see different than I do. My culture shock happened when my best friend showed me a truck that had the NIGGER written on the widow. Why would someone be so cold harted? That made me very upset but I thought about it. And now I say that the word only has as much power as you give it and the person the person using it. Maybe that person thought that their culture or race was superior. That is so not true. There is no race or culture better than any other.

Ezandra Washington

My first culture shock was when I visited Chicago,IL. We were having a family reunion and this was my first time going thousands of miles away from home. When we first arrived to the city, the traffic was very busy. I was so scared that I thought we were going to have an accident on the free way. I was not use to that traffic at all. Also, people were walking up and down the streets trying to sell things like socks, t-shirts, or anything you can name. I thought some of the people were trying to mug others, so I tried to watch my purse. I also didn't like the pigeons flying over my head, if you know what I mean.
Well, I had a good time at the family reunion because I got a chance to meet relatives that I never seen before. Chicago is a pretty nice city, but I wouldn't want to live there. Ever!

Ruth Giles

My first culture shock was a few years ago in Orlando, Florida. I was very shocked to see how prevalent same sex marriages and couples are. They were so open with it compared to here in Mississippi.

Ethel Gibson

My first culture shock was back when I was in the 9th grade. I think it was back in 1978. I moved to Orlando, Florida. The children there were very different from the ones I grew up with back in Mississippi. I was the "new kid from MS". The children asked me strange questions about it. Did we have cars, and did we have outhouses? I really did not like that and I asked them were they crazy? The white chidren really took some getting use too. They always invited me to stuff, parties, sleepovers, cook outs, you name it. I thought it was a trick to do something to me. When I finally calmed down, I really began to enjoy myself. I did not have to be on guard so much. I began to see people of all races as people rather than a "race identified by their color". We had the freshman sophmore ball at the World Inn in the ballroom. It was great. My aunt dropped me off and we had so much fun. Everyone got along, danced and I remember that to this day. I made it home about 1:00. But here is the reason why. Parents chaperoning the ball were telling your parents when they dropped you off not to worry about picking you up. They would make sure that everyone made it home. They had off duty police taking you home. The ball had nearly 150 children there, plus dates. If your parents allowed you to drive, they had a list as to who left with whom and the time. They were well oranized. That was a real eyeopener for me and race relations. Then something terrible happened.We moved back to Mississippi. I really hated that, but I was glad for the Florida experience.

Alicia Curry

Our class this summer term has discussed ethnocentrism, so I am familiar with its meaning and context. The first culture shock I experienced came about when I went on a school field trip to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas in the 10th grade. There were a lot of interracial couples, almost too many to count. I was surprised to see how common it was, compared to how rare and secretive it is in states like MS, even today. I have seen more interracial couples within recent years here in MS, but still not as many as I saw in that one day I visited Texas. I now understand that ethnocentrism is shaped by ones location and that what is socially accepted in one area may not be in another.

Kenyia Procter

My first culture shock was when I visited Chicago,IL for the very first time. Everything in the Delta was so slow considering the lifestyles and overall atmosphere in Chicago. I actually had a great time and I enjoyed experiencing the city life.

Diana Mills

My first culture shock was when my tenth grade history teacher offered us an experience of a life time to go on a trip to europe. My teacher loved history and wanted us to experience it first hand. So we raised the money to go with fund raisers, and left that May. We visited six countries in Europe, and we all experienced culture shock. Everything from the people, food, transportation were all different. We went during the time of Kosovo, and I remember the people in France were not accepting of Americans. The other countries were culture shocks as well. When you cannot speak the language or figure money into their currency it is very difficult to communicate or even purchase lunch. This trip would have to be my biggest culture shock ever.

Justine Walker

The only culture shock that i have experience involved two girls who went to the school where i work. They were muslims. As part of a religious celebration, they were not allowed to eat anyhing but a certain type of unleaven bread. It was during lunch time and I absord the girls sitting quietly eating to themselves. I ask one of the little girls did they want any thing else to eat and she replied no and explain why. I was a shock to me because I am a person who would feed a child no mater who they are if i felt they where hungry. I really did not agreed with the custom but had to respect what was a custom to them and ther family.

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