Comparing American values and Albanian values appears to be a little bit difficult. They have commons and also big differences between each other. America is an important nation with various nationalities and cultures inside it and this makes it difficult to discover a central culture and traditions. On the other hand, Albania is a little nation that has its own particular way of living and culture.
What is really appealing to me about Americans is their informality. They are easy going and cheerful all the time regardless of their stressful and sometimes annoying life. This characteristic is seen all around the world and it may look like a lack of respect for others. Albanians are also easy going, but informality is often taken as an insult, and we have our kind of recognition. If we see Americans who don’t shake hands, we don’t have to surprised especially in formal situations. They simply smile or say a casual “Hi”. While Albanians when meet someone for the first time they shake hands and kiss in both cheeks four times, and after that we start asking about family and all the tribe. Albanians in general are always stressed and sad for different reasons, so do not be surprised if you see someone by chance on the street does not salute you. In my opinion, we are a selfish society, while Americans are more sociable and kindly with everyone.
Another point of interest for me is ‘Do-it-yourself’ life. Americans live this way of life. They love family privacy, independence, and ‘freedom from responsibility’. They like doing their houseworks, gardening, and watching out their kids. Moreover, they do not mind carrying their own bags, or ‘stand in line’ at supermarkets. On the other hand, Albanians do not like this way of living. They do always want someone to carry their bags, to do their everyday shopping etc. This happens in families with high posts in our society like lawyers, professors etc.
Americans love directness with people around them. Telling them what they want to hear, instead of telling them what they need to hear, they take it as an insult and dishonesty. On the other hand, Albanians are not direct with each other. They think that telling the truth and telling what others need to hear, might make them feel hurt and insulted. We think that this is the best way to make others feel good and happy, but this is a way to make them dream about something that does not exist.
Silence for Americans is annoying. They try to fill any silence with different questions about movies, books, and weather. These types of conversations are found in a variety of places such as buses, universities, schools, and supermarkets. American students , or drivers, cannot be productive in silence. Some of them may have to listen to the radio or watch television in order to be a bit more productive . On the other hand, there are some confusing facts about this ‘American annoyance’ with silence. Moreover, we can find people who love silence and are unproductive if music or any form of sound is present. However, Americans have to be sensitive and to compromise with their friends, neighbours and all sorts of strangers about their desires regarding to silence. While, Albanians, in general love silence. They find theirselves very productive in silence.
Privacy is the most important thing for every human being. For Americans, privacy is very important.They tend to protect their privacy at first, and to hold off any moves toward intimacy. This value has changed their attitude with each other and with all sorts of of strangers.They respect everyone’s privacy and they may not go beyond a friendly ‘hello’. Albanians when meet for the first time, they start asking about intimate things and make the other person feel discomfort and confused. Most Albanians do not understand how important is privacy for someone.
Another interesting and appealing point is changing jobs and personal progress. Americans think that changing jobs as often as possible make them more professional and help them improve their skills and their career. Americans do not mind to jump from one company to another one. Creating new experiences has made them very flexible, and has helped them to find a job they like. In America there are many oppurtunities to choose from. While in Albnia is quite the contrary. Many of us are afraid to quit a job and start finding a new one, because it is literally very difficult. Here, friends are very important. If you have a powerful friend in job areas, it is sure that you will find a good job and a good wage, of course. Oppurtunities make Albanian people to suffer for new and challenging experiences.
In America does not matter how old are you or where you come from, but it is appreciated your individual way of thinking. Every human being has its own place and right to tell what he/she thinks for different situations and problems. Meanwhile, in Albania elderly people have to be listened always, and young ones have no right to oppose their opinion, because the elderly are always right. Opposing them is considered as rudeness and impoliteness. Because of this hierarchy most people prefer to stay in silence rather than tell their opinion freely.
Mobility is another thing I like about Americans. Americans are a restless people. They work hard, but they always find time for some vacations and holidays to relax. We are really focused in work and school and we forget about holidays and some time to relax and reflect what are we doing with our lives. We travel only for summer holidays. I think that this happens because we do not have the ability to travel across the country where we do not have any friend or family.
In brief , we see that Americans and Albanians have ‘big’ differences, for instance, they vary in their strategy for living, and how they deal with people. Americans are more open and easy-going people. They know what to say in the right place at the right moment, while Albanians tending to be friendly with each other, they sometimes exceed the limits of friendship and any other kind of relationship. This might be because Albania is a small country with same culture and same way of living. America is a huge country and there is no single set of cultural values that represents every group of people. In Albania, Communist regime has made people more closed. People in that time were supposed to do as that regime wanted. Now things have changed and everyone has the right to do and tell whatever he/she wants.
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