Kuelewa utamaduni na jamii ya Marekani
Wamarekani wana desturi na njia zao za kufanya mambo. Hii inaweza kuwachanganya wageni. Taarifa hii kuhusu utamaduni na jamii ya Marekani itakusaidia kuelewa mahali pako papya pa kuishi.
Americans have their own customs and way of doing things. It can be confusing for newcomers. This information about American society and cultural differences will help you understand US culture.
Marekani iliwahi kuwa koloni la Uingereza. Ilifanyika nchi huru mwaka 1776 baada ya Mapinduzi ya Marekani. Mgogoro mwingine mkubwa ulizuka katika Vita vya Kiraia, kwenye miaka ya 1860. Katika Vita vya Kiraia, Wamarekani walipigania haki, ikiwamo haki ya kumiliki watumwa walioletwa kutoka Afrika. Watumwa waliachiliwa huru, na sheria zilibadilishwa.
The United States was once a colony of Britain. It became a free country in 1776 after the American Revolution. Another big conflict came in the Civil War, during the 1860s. Americans in the Civil War fought about rights, including the right to own slaves who were brought from Africa. The slaves were freed, and the laws were changed.
Jambo jingine la muhimu kujua kuhusu historia ya Marekani ni kwamba, Wamarekani wanatoka sehemu mbalimbali. Ni Wamarekani wenyeji tu (pia huitwa Wahindi) ndio ambao mababu zao wanatokea Marekani. Wamarekani wengine wote wana mababu ambao walitokea kwenye mabara mengine. Wengi wao walikuja kama wakimbizi.
Another important thing to know about American history and cultural differences is that Americans come from many backgrounds. Only Native Americans (also called Indians) have ancestors from America. All other Americans have ancestors who came from other continents. Many of them came as refugees.
Kutokana na historia, masuala ya kimbari ni muhimu kwenye utamaduni wa Marekani. Sheria inasema watu wote ni sawa. Lakini Wamarekani hujigawa wenyewe kimbari. Wamarekani weusi hawapati mara zote fursa sawa na weupe. Wamarekani wengi wasio weupe ni maskini zaidi kuliko Wamarekani weupe.
Because of this history, racial issues are important in American culture. The law says people are all the same. But one of the important cultural differences in the USA is that Americans divide themselves by race. African Americans do not always get the same opportunities as whites. Many non-white Americans are poorer than white Americans.
Wamarekani wanaipenda sana nchi yao. Utamaduni na jamii ya Marekani imejengwa misingi ya uhuru, haki sawa na demokrasia. Wamarekani wanathamini wazo la uhuru wa kujieleza. Hii ina maana kuwa wanaruhusiwa kusema chochote wanachokitaka kuhusu rais. Wanaandamana pale serikali inapofanya mambo wasiyoyapenda.
Americans are very proud of their country. American culture and society is founded on freedom, equal rights and democracy. Americans value the idea of free speech. This means they are allowed to say what they like about the president. They protest when the government does things they do not like.
Sheria inasema kuwa serikali ni lazima isifuate dini yoyote. Lakini Wamarekani wengi husherehekea sikukuu za Kikristo. Takribani 80% ya Wamarekani wanasema ni Wakristo, ijapokuwa kiasi kisichozidi 40% huenda kanisani. Kama ulivyo Uislamu, Ukristo unaaminini Mungu mmoja. Unawaambia wafuasi wake wawe wakarimu kwa majirani na kuwatendea wengine heshima.
The law says the government must not follow any religion and people have a right to their religious and cultural differences. But most Americans celebrate Christian holidays. About 80% of Americans say they are Christian, although fewer than 40% go to church. Like Islam, Christianity follows one God. It tells followers to be kind to their neighbors and to treat others with respect.
Ukiwa Mwislamu, unaweza kuzungumza na mwajiri wako kuhusu imani yako na kumwomba mahali pa kufanyia sala wakati wa mchana. Shule nyingi pia hutenga mahali pa wanafunzi kufanyia sala.
If you a practicing Muslim, you can talk to your employer about your faith and ask for a place to pray during the day. Many schools will also provide a space for students to pray.
Sikukuu na maadhimisho
Holidays and celebrations
Watu husherehekea sikukuu kwa kujumuika pamoja na familia zao na kula milo mikubwa. Sikukuu kubwa zaidi ni Krismasi (Desemba 25) na Siku ya Uhuru (Julai 4). Siku ya Uhuru husherehekewa kwa kurusha fataki na kula nyamachoma. Siku ya kukaribisha mwaka mpya (Desemba 31) nayo ni maadhimisho mengine makubwa. Watu huchelewa kulala na kuhesabu hadi saa inapogonga saa sita usiku. Halowini, yaani mkesha wa sikukuu ya watakatifu wote (Oktoba 31) huadhimishwa kama siku ya uvaaji mavazi ya kuchekesha na kujifurahisha.
People celebrate holidays by getting together with their families and by eating large meals. The biggest holidays are Christmas (December 25) and Independence Day (July 4). Independence Day is celebrated with fireworks and barbecues. New Year’s Eve (December 31) is another big celebration. People stay up late and count down the time until the clock strikes midnight. Halloween (October 31) is celebrated as a day to dress up in funny clothes and have fun.
Sikukuu za kuzaliwa ni za muhimu sana. Huadhimisha kwa zawadi, keki na sherehe. Familia zenye watoto wadogo mara nyingi hufanya sherehe na kualika majirani, wanafunzi wenzao na marafiki kusherehekea siku za kuzaliwa.
Birthdays are very important. Americans celebrate with gifts, cake and parties. Families with young children will often have parties and invite neighbors, classmates and friends to celebrate birthdays.
Uchumi wa kibepari unamaanisha kuwa watu (sio serikali) ndio wanaomiliki biashara na huduma. Huduma za afya ni biashara kubwa. Ukulima ni muhimu pia. Mashamba mengi ni makubwa na yanamilikiwa na biashara.
The capitalist economy means that people (not government) own businesses and services. Healthcare is a big business. Farming is important too. Many farms are big and owned by businesses.
Wamiliki wa biashara hawalazimiki kusaidia jamii, lakini wengi huchangia taasisi za kutoa misaada za maeneo husika au za kitaifa. Wamarekani huchangia sana fedha kwa taasisi za utoaji misaada. Makanisa mengi na vikundi vingi vya kijamii hutoa chakula, makazi, na mahitaji muhimu kwa familia zenye mapato ya chini.
Business owners are not required to help the community, but many make donations to local or national charities. Americans donate a lot of money to charities. Many churches and community organizations provide food, housing, and essentials to low-income families.
Lakini utamaduni wa Marekani ni wa wakibinafsi zaidi. Watu mara nyingi hawatoi fedha zao kwa ndugu wengine wa familia. Wanaweza kuchagua kuchangia au kusaidia ndugu wengine wa familia au marafiki, lakini hilo si la kutarajiwa.
But American culture is more individual. One of the cultural differences you may notice is that people do not usually share their money with their extended family. They may choose to donate or help their extended family members or friends, but it is not expected.
Wamarekani wengi wana majina matatu: jina la kwanza, la kati, na la ukoo (pia huitwa jina la mwisho). Wanawake wengi huchukua majina ya mwisho ya waume zao pale wanapoolewa, japo wengine hubakia na majina yao ya mwisho au hutumia yote mawili. Ukiwa na jina la mwisho tofauti na la mwanao, unaweza kutakiwa kuonyesha ushahidi kuwa mtoto huyo ni wako.
Most Americans have three names: first name, middle name, and family name (also called last name). Most women take their husband’s last name when they get married, although some keep their own last name or use both. If you have a different last name than your child, you may be required to show proof that the child is your child.
Wazee hawapati heshima kwa kiwango sawa na ilivyo kwenye nchi nyingine nyingi. Watu hupenda kuheshimu zaidi maprofesa wa vyuo vikuu, viongozi wa biashara, na watu matajiri. Hili linaweza kuwa jambo gumu kuzoea kwa wahamiaji wazee.
Elders do not have the same level of respect as they do in many other countries. People tend to give more respect to university professors, business leaders, and rich people. This may be a hard adjustment for older newcomers.
Dhana ya muda inazingatiwa sana. Watu hutenga muda kwa mambo yaliyo mengi ya kila siku. Wataondoka kwenye jambo fulani mapema ili kuhakikisha wanawahi miadi yao inayofuata. Muda ni wa muhimu hasa kwenye mazingira ya kazini na shuleni.
The concept of time is strict, and this is one of the cultural differences that newcomers struggle with. People set a time for most daily events. They will leave an event early to make sure they are on time to their next appointment. Time is especially important in work and school settings.
Wanaume na wanawake kawaida hupeana mikono. Hata hivyo, ni kawaida kwa mwanamke kukataa kupokea mkono au kumgusa mwanamume. Mara nyingi wanaume huwa hawagusani, isipokuwa kupeana mikono au kukumbatiana mara moja. Ni sawa kuwagusa wanaume wengine. Wanawake wanaweza zaidi kugusana, mfano kukumbatiana wanapokutana mara ya kwanza au wanapoagana. Wanafamilia mara nyingi hugusana au kukumbatiana.
Men and women typically shake hands. However, it is okay for a woman to decline to shake hands or to touch a man. Men do not touch each other very often, except for shaking hands or possibly a quick hug. It is okay to touch other men. Women are more likely to touch one another, such as a hug when they first see one another or when they say goodbye. Family members often touch and hug each other.
Watu wanaweza kusema, “hi” asubuhi au kutabasamu lakini hawatumii muda mrefu kusalimia wanafamilia wengine asubuhi. Unaweza kuwasalimia wafanyakazi wenzako unapofika mara ya kwanza asubuhi. Watu hutabasamu na kusema “thank you”, (yaani asante) mara nyingi.
People may say “hi” in the morning or smile but do not take a lot of time to greet other family members in the morning. You can greet your co-workers when you first arrive at work. People smile and say “thank you” a lot.
Kuandika hutumika kwa mawasiliano ya muhimu na yaliyo rasmi. Ukitia saini kipande cha karatasi, watu watatilia maanani sana karatasi hiyo. Mikataba ya kisheria ni hati za maandishi zilizosainiwa, zinazoweza kupewa nguvu na mahakama.
Writing is used for important and official communication. If you sign a piece of paper, people will take the paper very seriously. Legal contracts are signed written documents that can be enforced by the court.
Mara nyingi watu hula kwa vifaa (uma, kisu na kijiko) isipokuwa kama wanakula sandiwishi, hambaga au vyakula vinavyopikwa haraka. Kila mtu hutumia sahani au bakuli lake kwenye kila mlo badala ya kuchangia bakuli au sahani moja. Ukiwa na mgeni nyumbani kwako, unaweza kumpatia chakula chake kwenye sahani tofauti. Ikiwa hauna uhakika iwapo chakula ni cha kuchangia au cha mtu mmoja, unaweza kuuliza.
People mostly eat with silverware (fork, knife and spoon) unless they are eating sandwiches, hamburgers, or fast food. They use their own plate and bowl for each meal instead of sharing one bowl or plate. If you have a guest at your home, you can offer them their food on a separate plate. If you are unsure if food is communal or for one person, you can ask.
Watoto wote wanatakiwa kwenda shule kuanzia umri wa miaka 5 hadi 18. Walimu wengi ni wanawake, lakini wanaume wengi hufunza watoto pia. Shule zinatarajia wazazi wajihusishe kwenye elimu ya watoto wao. Hii inamaanisha kuhudhuria mikutano au matukio shuleni. Inamaanisha kuwapatia wanafunzi muda wa kumaliza kazi za nyumbani, na kuwasaidia kujifunza. Wazazi wa Kimarekani pia husaidia shule kama watu wa kujitolea.
All children must go to school from ages 5 to 18. Most teachers are women, but many men teach children, too. Schools expect parents to get involved in their children’s education. This means attending meetings or events at the school. It means giving students time to complete homework, and helping them to learn. American parents also help in the school as volunteers.
Watoto wako watajifunza kufanya kazi katika vikundi na timu. Watajifunza ili wafaulu mitihani ya kwenda chuoni. Watoto katika shule za Marekani hujifunza jinsi ya kufikiri kwa undani. Kufikiri kwa undani kunamaanisha wanafunzi wanatakiwa kuhoji kuhusu dhana mbalimbali. Kwa hiyo, wanafunzi wanaweza kuanza kuwahoji wazazi wao. Hii si dalili ya kukosa heshima. Inaonyesha wamejifunza stadi muhimu ili kuendelea shuleni na kazini.
Your children will learn to work in groups and teams. They will study to pass tests for college. Children in American schools learn how to think critically. Thinking critically means students are expected to question ideas. As a result, students may start to question their parents. This is not a sign of disrespect. It shows they have learned an important skill to succeed in school and work.
Watu wengi huenda kwa daktari kila mwaka kuchunguzwa afya badala ya kwenda tu wakiwa wagonjwa. Madaktari wanaheshimika sana.
Many people visit the doctor for yearly check-ups rather than just when they are sick. Doctors are very respected.
Mfanyakazi wa afya asipozungumza nawe kuhusu matibabu ya mwanafamilia yako, usichukulie hili kama ni ishara ya ufidhuli. Sheria inasema, hawaruhusiwi kujadili afya ya mgonjwa na watu wengine hadi mgonjwa mwenyewe asaini fomu ya kutoa ruhusa.
If a health worker will not talk to you about your family member’s medical care, do not take this as a sign they are being rude. The law says they are not allowed to discuss a patient’s health with other people unless the patient signs a form to give permission.
Washauri wanaheshimika sana. Ni kawaida kwa Wamarekani kwenda kwa mshauri kupata msaada kunapotokea kifo cha mwanafamilia au jambo jingine la kuhuzunisha au gumu. Karibu kila shule ina mshauri wa kuwasaidia wanafunzi kufikia malengo yao, mfano kwenda chuoni. Kama mwanafunzi wako anahitaji kumwona mshauri, huu unaweza kuwa msaada mkubwa kwa familia yako na haimaanishi chochote kibaya kwa familia yako.
Counselors are very well respected. It is very common for Americans to see a counselor to help them through the death of a family member or other sad and hard events. Almost every school has a counselor to help student’s achieve their goals, such as going to college. If your student needs to see a counselor, this can be a big help for your family and does not mean anything negative for your family.
Ndoa na talaka
Marriage and divorce
Kwa Marekani, unaweza kuoana na mtu mmoja tu. Mitara ni kinyume cha sheria. Talaka ni kawaida na inakubalika Marekani.
In the US, you can only be married to one person. Polygamy is against the law. Divorce is common and accepted in the United States.
Watu wengi huishi tu na wanafamilia wa karibu – wazazi na watoto na wakati mwingine babu na bibi. Ni asilimia ndogo tu ya familia huishi na ndugu wengine nje ya hao.
Most people live only with their immediate family members – parents and children and sometimes grandparents. Only a small percentage of families live with their extended families. The is one of the most noticeable cultural differences for newcomers from more traditional societies.
Wanaume na wanawake, wote ni wa muhimu kwenye nyumba. Wanaume walio wengi husaidia kazi za nyumbani kama vile kupika na usafi na kutunza watoto. Wanaume wanaofanya hivi bado wanaonekana kuwa ni vichwa vya nyumba zao.
Men and women are both important to the household. Most men help with household chores such as cooking and cleaning and taking care of children. Men who do these chores are still seen as in charge of their homes.
Familia nyingi zina watoto wawili. Watu wengi hulipa fedha ili kuwapeleka watoto wao kwenye vituo vya kulelea watoto mchana. Ni kinyume cha sheria kuwaacha watoto peke yao nyumbani bila uangalizi. Ni kinyume cha sheria kumgonga mtoto.
Most families have two children. Many people pay to send their children to daycare. It is against the law to leave children home alone without supervision. It is also against the law to hit or physically discipline children.
Wanawake na wasichana
Women and girls
Marekani, wanaume na wanawake huishi, hufanya kazi, na kwenda shule pamoja. Hili linahitaji mtu kujibadilisha sana kwa baadhi ya wageni. Wanaume na wanawake hujichanganya kwenye matukio ya kijamii pia. Lakini unaweza kuomba kuwa na daktari wa jinsi moja nawe.
In the US, men and women live, work, and go to school together. This is one of the biggest cultural differences and adjustment for some newcomers. Men and women mix at social events too. But you can request to have a doctor of the same sex.
Wasichana huendelea na masomo yao kama wavulana. Wavulana na wasichana wa Marekani, wote husaidia kazi za nyumbani. Wasichana wa Marekani hawatarajiwi kuendesha nyumba hadi wawe watu wazima au waolewe.
Girls continue with their educations just like boys. American boys and girls both help with chores. American girls are not expected to run households until they are adult or get married.
Marekani, wanawake na wasichana bado wanatarajiwa kwenda kazini na shuleni wanapokuwa katika siku zao za hedhi.
In the US, women and girls are still expected to go to work and school while they are menstruating.
Kwa kawaida, wanawake hufanya kazi nje ya nyumbani kama wanaume. Wanawake wengi hulea wenyewe watoto wao wachanga baada ya wiki moja au mbili. Waajiri lazima wawape likizo isiyo na malipo kwa wiki kadhaa, lakini wanatarajia wanawake hao watarudi kazini mapema iwezekanavyo.
Women usually work outside the home like men. Most women take care of their babies on their own after one or two weeks. Employers must give unpaid time off for a few weeks, but then they expect women to return to work as soon as possible.
Baadhi ya wageni husema hawana ujuzi wowote kwa ajili ya kundi la wafanyakazi la Marekani. Hii si kweli. Wageni wengi huzungumza lugha zaidi ya moja. Wana nguvu kwa sababu wamestahimili magumu mengi. Wageni wengi huthamini kupata elimu. Wako tayari kusoma na kufanya kazi kwa bidii. Wageni wana mchango mkubwa. Tafadhali tumia nyenzo zetu za kazi kukusaidia kutafuta kazi na kufanikiwa kazini.
Some newcomers say they do not have any skills for the American workforce. This is not true. Many newcomers speak more than one language. They are strong because they have survived great hardship. Most newcomers value learning. They are willing to study and work hard. Newcomers make important contributions. Please use our work resources to help you find work and succeed at work.
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