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The Wildcat Roar

Trying to understand America

Society and culture
Caique Agra Dias

“Aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community” is the definition of society. It’s difficult to spend 15 years of your life living in a bubble, and suddenly this bubble just bursts. Now you are in a different country, speaking in another language, eating unfamiliar food, meeting people with different traditions than yours. 


Before I moved, my friends used to say how the gringos (non-latinos people) don’t hug each other or how they are dry. This is something really common to be said in Brazil, but I feel that Brazilians just say that because they can be overly expressive. If you compare Brazilians and Americans, Brazilians usually gesture more and express more energy. Americans usually are more calm and don’t need to use their hands while they talk. This is one reason why it is so hard to live in another country. 


For me it is difficult. I have always been a person with too much energy and here I feel that people don’t reciprocate. People here are more reserved and busy; I’m not used to being at home in one weekend, and this happens really often. 


A really positive part of the United States is the roads and the condominiums are safe and clean. It was awkward for me to be in a car on the Michigan roads, when I was coming to the airport for my new home. Everything was more organized and the streets were free from advertisements. In Brazil, I had the privilege to be at a good condominium with safety and cleanness, but this is not the reality of most of the people in the country. Also, the streets have too many advertisements and don’t have the organization that it has here.


One fact that surprised me, is how the school has diversity. It’s cool to talk with people from all over the world and share experiences and traditions. I have a friend from Korea, who I talk to about the differences between the schools. Sometimes I see that there are a lot of things that are similar between our schools. 


The houses’ structures are also very different. In Brazil, we used to wash the floor, roof, walls, the whole house with water and soap. Here that’s not possible because the house is made of drywall and wood. Houses in Brazil are made of bricks and don’t have carpet.That difference probably occurs because of the climate. Here in Michigan it is really cold and snows, so cities were building with this idea that should be warm inside the houses and stores.


Halloween was a really problematic experience for me. I was expecting houses with big decorations and crazy costumes, but what I saw was some houses with little decorations and not a lot of kids in the streets on October 31. For me it was frustrating because ever since I became obsessed about Halloween, it has always been my favorite holiday. And the party that I went to had another vibe that I’m not used to.


Parties here are another factor that I’m not enjoying as much as possible. Maybe it’s because I am  friends with the people that don’t go to parties in general, but I have missed going to a party with good music and people dancing. At the same time I’m glad that I have those friends that included me in amazing experiences.


The difference between both cultures is clear, but now that I live here I need to be okay. I don’t have the option to return now to Brazil so I need to deal with being here. I’m not thinking that returning to my home country will solve all my problems, but I feel this is what I need right now.

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About the Contributor
Caique Agra Dias
Caique Agra Dias, Staff Writer
Caique Agra Dias is a 16-year-old Brazilian student who loves to enjoy his free time to hang out with his friends. He loves movies (especially horror movies) and animals. If he has to stay in one place for the rest of his life, it will be at the beach. He is a Hufflepuff in the Harry Potter universe. You can contact him at [email protected]
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