了解美国的文化与社会

英语也不会说英语

美国人有他们自己的风俗与做事方式 对于初到者这些都会令人困惑。这里关于美国文化与社会的资料能协助您更好了解您的新家。

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.

美国文化 - 两个来自不同文化的女人

american culture - two women from different cultures

历史

History

美国曾是英国的殖民地。在美国革命后,美国就在1776年独立了。在1860年代的内战发生了另一场大冲突。在内战中,美国人争取权利,当中包括对从非洲被带回来的奴隶的拥有权。后来奴隶被解放,法律也随之改变。

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.

另一项您们要知道关于美国历史重要的信息是美国人是来自不同的背景。只有美洲原住民 (也称为印弟安人)的祖先是来自美国本土。其他所有的美国人的祖先是来自不同大洲。他们大部份都是以难民的身份来到这里。

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.

种族

Race

因为这段历史,在美国文化当中种族议题是很重要的。法律规定所有人都是平等的。但美国人会通过种族划分自己。非裔美国人常常不能拥有与白种人同等的机会。很多非白种人的美国人都比白种人的美国人穷。

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.

观念

Beliefs

美国人对自己的国家非常自豪。美国的文化与社会是建立在自由、平等的权利和民主的基础之上。美国人重视言论自由的观念。这意味着他们可以说出他们对总统的看法。他们对于政府一些的做法不满时也可以抗议。

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.

宗教

Religion

法律规定政府不能遵从任何的宗教信仰。但大部份的美国人都会庆祝基督教节日。大约80%的美国人會說他們是基督徒,尽管少于40%的基督徒会去教堂。与伊斯兰教一样,基督教只遵从一个神。基督教告诉追随者要友善对待邻居以及尊重他人。

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.

如果您是穆斯林,您可以向您的雇主说出您的信仰以及要求在白天提供一个地方来祷告。很多学校也将会提供一个地方给学生祷告。

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.

假期与庆祝活动

Holidays and celebrations

在庆祝节日时,人们都会与家人待在一起吃大餐。最大的节庆是十二月二十五日圣诞节和七月四日独立日。人们会放烟花和烧烤庆祝独立日。十二月三十一日新年除夕是另一个重大的庆祝活动。人们都会熬夜倒数直至时钟敲响午夜。十月三十一日万圣节,人们都会穿着有趣的衣服和玩得愉快。

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.

生日是非常重要的。他们都会以礼物、蛋糕和开派对庆祝。有小孩的家庭时常都会开派对,邀请邻居、同学和朋友庆祝生日。

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.

Money

资本主义经济意味着人们(非政府)可以拥有自己的生意和服务。医疗保健是一项重大的业务。农业也同样重要。许多农场都是大的,而且被企业所拥有。

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.

企业主没有被要求帮助社区,但很多都会捐款给本地或国家的慈善机构。美国人会捐很多的钱给慈善团体。许多教堂和社区组织提供食物、住宿和日常必须品给低收入家庭。

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.

但美国文化更注重个人。人们通常都都不会将他们的钱分享给他们的大家庭。 他们可能会选择捐款或直接帮助他们的大家庭成员或朋友,但这不是理所当然的。

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.

名字

Names

大部份美国人的名字有三份部组成:名、中间名和姓。大部份的女性当她们结婚时,她们会取她们先生的姓,虽然有些人会保留她们自己的姓或两者都用。如果您的孩子跟您的姓不一样,您会被要求证明小孩是您的孩子。

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.

长者

Elders

长者在不同国家,他们被受到的尊重程度也会不同。人们倾向于对大学教授、企业领导者和有钱人给予更多的尊敬。这可能对于初来到的长者是一项艰难的调适。

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.

时间

Time

时间的观念是严谨的。人们对于大多数日常活动都设定时间。他们都会提早离开活动以确保他们能准时到达下一个预约。在工作和学校环境中时间都是重要的。

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.

肢体接触

Physical contact

男性和女性通常都是握手。不过,女性可以拒绝握手或触碰男性。男性不会常常触碰对方,除了握手或来一个快速的拥抱。男性互相触碰是可以的。女性更有可能互相触碰,例如当她们第一次见面或当她们说再见时都会相互拥抱。家庭成员常常触碰和拥抱对方。

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.

沟通

Communication

在早上时,人们可能都会说「Hi」或微笑,但不会花很多时间向家庭成员打招呼。当您第一次上班时,您可以向您的同事打招呼。人们都会常常微笑和说多谢。

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.

在重要和官方的沟通中都会用书写的。如果您在纸上签署时,人们都会认真看待那张纸。合法合同是被签署的书面文件,可以由法院强制执行。

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.

Eating

人们大部份都用银器(叉、刀和匙)进餐,除了他们吃的是三文治、汉堡或快餐。每一餐他们都会用自己的碟和碗,而不是共同分享一碗或一碟的食物。如果您的家有客人来时,您可以提供另外一只碟让他们裝食物。如果您不确定食物是公用的或个人的,您可以问。

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.

教育

Education

所有由五岁到十八岁的孩子一定要上学。大部份老师都是女性,但许多男性也会教小孩的。学校都会期望家长参与他们小孩的教育。这意味着家长要出席学校内的会议或活动。这也意味着家长要让孩子有充足的时间完成作业,而且协助他们学习。美国父母也会以志工在学校里帮忙。

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.

您的孩子将会学习如何在团队中工作。他们将学习通过大学考试。在美国学校孩子会学习如何批判性思考。批判性思考意味着学生应该质疑想法。故此,学生可能会开始质疑他们的父母。这不是不尊重的表现。这显示了他们已学习到一种在学校和工作上都能成功的重要技能。

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.

健康

Health

许多人看医生进行年度身体检查,而不只是生病时才去看。医生是很被受尊重的。

Many people visit the doctor for yearly check-ups rather than just when they are sick. Doctors are very respected.

如果医护人员不向您讲述您家庭成员的医疗护理,不要视为他们不礼貌的表现。法律规定不允许他们与其他人讨论病人的健康状况,除非病人签署了表格表示同意。

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.

辅导

Counseling

辅导员是非常被受尊重的。美国人去看辅导员以协助他们渡过家庭成员的逝世或其他悲伤和艰难的事件是非常常见的。几乎每一间学校都会有辅导员帮助学生达成他们的目标,例如上大学。如果您的孩子需要见辅导员,这是对您家庭一个很大的帮助,并不代表对您家庭有任何负面的影响。

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.

结婚和离婚

Marriage and divorce

在美国,您只能够与一个人结婚。一夫多妻制是违返法律的。离婚在美国是平常而且被接受的。

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.

家庭

Family

大部份人都只与他们的直系家属同住 ─ 父母、小孩,有时是祖父母。只有小部份的家庭会与他们的非直系家属家族成员一起住。

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.

男人和女人对家庭都同样重要的。大部份男人会帮忙做家务,例如煮饭、清洁及照顾小孩。男人在做这些家务会被视为掌管这个家。

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.

大部份家庭都有两位小孩。许多人都会付钱把小孩送去托儿所。在没监管情况下,留下孩子在家是不合法的。打或身体处罚孩子是违法的。

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.

妇女和女孩

Women and girls

在美国,男人和女人共同居住、工作和上学。对于一些初到者这是一项很大的调识。男人和女人都在社会活动中混合。但您可以要求约见与您同一性别的医生。

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.

女孩与男孩一样都会继续她们的教育。美国男孩和女孩都会帮忙做家务。美国女孩不会被要求照顾家庭,直至她们是成人或结婚。

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.

在美国,女人和女孩在她们的经期时都要上班和上学。

In the US, women and girls are still expected to go to work and school while they are menstruating.

女人通常都与男人一样出外工作。在一周或两周后,大部份女人都要自己照顾小孩。雇主必须给予几个星期的无薪假,但他们期望女人能越快返回工作岗位越好。

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.

工作

Work

一些初到者说他们没有任何技能为美国劳动市场服务。这不是真的。很多初到者都能说多于一种语言。他们都是坚强的,因为他们都经历了艰难时刻。大部份初到者都重视学习。他们愿意努力学习和工作。初到者都有重要的贡献。请运用我们的工作信息帮助您找到工作并在工作上获得成功。

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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