Daily Life in a Village in Africa
The US as its commonly said is home to many cultures. Nevertheless, the American culture gas massive influences on other cultures hence the creation sort of a national culture that would greatly be important for the family to understand. A key material culture that would be worthy for this family to understand is Homes, back in Burkina Faso homes are not as complex and sophisticated like in the US, most homes use appliances in place of traditional practices used in Congo, for instance, food preservation whereby while in the US we use fridges and freezers to preserve food, in Burkina Faso they use traditional preservatives.
Another key aspect of normative culture is Equality, unlike in Burkina Faso where some roles are designated for women and some for men, American culture advocates for Equality with no specific gender roles, women are accorded the same respect as their male counterparts. An aspect of Cognitive culture that will be important to them is Language, in the US most people communicate in English and Spanish unlike Africa and Burkina Faso where there are a number of languages with many not being fluent in English. This will be important to the family to aid their interactions and communication in the US, while that might be easy for the kids as they will be taught in schools, the parents will also have to put some effort into learning English.
We also have neighborhoods as part of the material culture elements that would be important to the family. Neighborhoods in Burkina Faso are sort of tied together with little or no obstructions within them, people are crowded with frequent engagements in neighborhoods. In the US people leave in apartments or nearing houses but with little engagements between each other, boundaries exist and families engage in each other’s business, unlike Africa where women and men in neighborhoods congregate to undertake mutual tasks. An aspect of normative culture that the family should learn is Criminal codes, in Burkina Faso, there is criminal codes as well as community codes where some crimes are punished within the local neighborhood level, the punishment of children, for instance, is not criminal in Burkina Faso, in some places even beating of women by husbands is not a crime.
In the US everything passes through the hands of our legal system, parents have limits of the kinds of punishments they can give their children, beating of women by husbands is criminal. Even animals have rights in the US a totally different picture from the norms in Burkina Faso. Finally, we have collaboration under cognitive culture, in Burkina Faso, families including children come together to undertake different tasks, but even so, some tasks/chores are considered male and others female, for instance manually intensive tasks are undertaken by men while light duties and kitchen work are reserved for women. In the US, collaborations happen across the board with no framework on delegation of duties, work is highly automated allowing for everybody to be able to achieve similar outcomes. The family will, therefore, have to appreciate and begin having a different perspective of collaboration.
Cities are a key component of the American material culture, from Washington DC to New York, we brag of the most sophisticated cities in the world, the transport system is revolutionary, families rely mostly on personal transport with options for railway transport between cities, parties in the cities are the total opposite of the local ceremonious parties in Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso has nothing close to what we would refer to a city in the US, transportation is a challenge to many with the only available rail transport unusable or occasionally used to transport goods. The family will have to get used to life in American cities something that may present a major challenge.
Traffic laws also come in as Normative culture, there are hardly any traffic points with just cameras to detect violations, in Burkina Faso, the police have predictable standard traffic points where they carry out checks and some violations outside the points go undetected, violators also occasionally bribe their way out. In Burkina Faso, people are scared of the police very much, unlike in the US where we have a totally different policing system. There is also beliefs as part of a cognitive culture, in the US we believe in science and God mostly, different from Burkina Faso where people first belief in superstitions before a science of God, religion is a bit different from what it is in the US, a major African belief is that the dead when unhappy could determine the fate of their futures or perhaps come to haunt them in sleep at night. Here in the US that would be laughable or even be taught to be having a mental breakdown. These elements of culture may take some time for the family but eventually, they will acclimatize with the American culture and even be proud of it. In some cases, they may one to retain some aspects of their culture or even take some of the American cultures to the people of Burkina Faso, which is what America does best positively influencing the world.