Latin vs American Cultural Differences
My students take Spanish lessons in Chicago located in the United States or known as America (which is considered wrong, but that is a topic for another day). I tell my students that in order to practice orally, they have to find a language partner, a person that exchanges the language of learning with their native language. They need to find someone that speaks Spanish and is learning English. Therefore, we organize events with another school, which teaches English, to practice English and Spanish at our offices.
I have been organizing events for 5 years now for twice a week or once a month. Now that I have some experience with these kind of events, I have noticed the cultural differences. I am originally from Argentina but most of the students learning English are not from Argentina. They are from Spain, Mexico and Colombia. Also, sometimes we receive people that live here, but as you probably know, most of them are from Mexico or their parents are from Mexico.
The main difference that I noticed is that when a man finds a woman attractive in Latin America, the way of conquering a woman is by insisting a lot because most women in Latin America if you say yes, easily, is not very well seen. Therefore, most men are used to a “no” as an answer which can potentially mean to them as a “maybe” when it comes from a woman. I noticed this from many of my girl students from sites like conversationexchange.com, my events and also in general life dating a Latin man here in Chicago.
I want to bring this topic up because in our culture, this is not considered rude or a form of harassment (although some cases it is). I am talking in average. Actually, this is flattering and quite frankly Latin women consider American men somewhat cold and not very affectionate or “demostrativos” (which means when a person shows their emotions positively or negatively).
This is very interesting to me because I have lived it personally and also with many people/friends in both sides and it is obviously a huge cultural difference which makes American women (not all of them) uncomfortable. Space is very important in the US and actually different than Latin American, not even counting that we kiss to say hello and here we give a handshake.
To sum up, in most cases the intentions are not bad on both sides. It is just different, but it is so important to understand cultural differences so that we can get along better. Mexico is a huge influence now in American Culture, inter-race marriages, children and even in food.
So, if you notice this please, especially my women students, please email me or text me in order to ask me if it is normal, which in some cases is not, but don’t be surprised if you receive a lot of messages from men in these sites. It is a cultural thing. In conversationexchange.com. for example, they just message women to talk to you and maybe even better if they live in Mexico or other countries, so you can become friends when you travel there.