The sociology of human progress and social interaction presents individual unique adaptation to the context of his environment. The effectiveness of which shapes perceptions on behavior and evaluates impact on attitudes of people on their actions and responses on a certain phenomenon based on their respective moral beliefs. This gives us an idea of what people think or feel and do on a certain action reaction. A person’s behavior is shaped by physical, social, economic and legal environment in which that behavior occurs as such as common rules a group uses for reference of what is appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors (1).
I came here in Vancouver as an international student. My race is Arabian from Oman.Being a student of Arabic culture living in the middle of Vancouver, one may expect that I am bringing with me the proud heritage of beliefs and practices of my native culture and the accepted beliefs and practices of the Canadian culture.
I am a representation of a mixed Canadian-Arabian culture complying with the social norms of my culture and the social norms of the community I lived now. What I am now is definitely a mixture of characteristics and beliefs I inherited from the past and those that I acquired from Canada. Apparently, the basic social roles that I play as a girl is to shake hands when being introduced to a stranger to show respect and being delighted having them as a friend. It is innate in both culture societal norms that I respect people who are older than me requiring me to greet them with their title like Mister, Miss or Doctor as a sign of respect.
However, if it is young person of close age bracket with mine, I usually call or refer to him with his first given name.At home, my family still practices fasting at the holy month of Ramadan. I do fast and live up to the customs of buying presents and clothes for children and visit friends and relatives. This custom is made to function as religious observances to honor the month when the Quran was revealed providing guidance to the people whose witnesses are instructed to fast to fulfill obligations and express appreciation. Whenever friends and relatives visit us, I always offer them coffee served in small cups in its symbolic preparation of dates and sweets. This is a very significant gesture which is an expression of welcoming the guests by the show of such hospitality. Sometimes we burn incense to welcome guests who are also Arabs who have just landed in Canada or just passing by to visit us as a part of our hospitality uniquely defined with the Arabian culture social practices in receiving guests.Body image and appearances is very important with us. I do wear modern day clothes but still reflects traditional observance of modesty and decency through observance of proprieties of dress and behavior. Although at school I don’t often wear shayla for head covering and abaya as an outer cloak over the dress, I do wear them in front of visiting relatives and our social functions since it will clearly freak them out to see me getting modernized and losing the sense of dress propriety that has been over us for ages. It will reflect a different personality and image so I have to keep up with the dress and the posture during social gatherings. Bending on a very conservative tradition, I don’t kiss or hug friends. We recognize their presence in a no touch policy social form. This is a very inappropriate and disorderly form of body language for Arabs and I simply know our old people will frown by the look of it.Caught up between the ordeal of our parent’s instructions and the openness of the world I live now, I don’t practice premarital sex even if it is acceptable by society. Modesty is very important to my family especially for the female gender. Husbands seek modest wives even in a modern world. This includes drinking and smoking. My parents do not allow me to engage in such vices since it is inappropriate for girls to drink and smoke in front of other people which make them lose their sense of propriety. Manners and dress codes are very important subjects in our social norms. I am practically covering both cultures to be able to survive peers and survive my oldies.While dating is open here in Vancouver for us dating is strictly following certain rules way back home. Closeness is limited to holding hands. As the left hand is associated with personal hygiene it is but natural for me to give or receive anything using the right hand. I am always formal and polite in speech and never speak loudly as it is seen offensive and impolite. I still don’t eat pork (2) amidst the exquisite cuisines and delectable menus of this modern community because it is forbidden and is considered a grievous sin in my religion Islam. It is a sincere practice between family members to always follow religious orders. It has been my duty to keep my promises of any form since it directly affects our honor. Honor in words and in action is very important to us as a person and as an Arab.