Up to now I had a chance to put my foot on three continents in the world. In this article I would like to write about my experiences that I gained during my travelling and living in these three places. This is only a general comparison of these three continents that I noticed, all from my own opinion. It may vary in different country and also city.
At first meet
In Europe people remain a bit of large distance, because there personal area is big. At first sight, they seem to be a cold, hard to approach, they say Hi with handshaking. But later when you get to know them better, you will find them OK and by that time they say hi, with kissing you on the cheek. But in Mediterran country, people keep a small distant even at first time meeting. Like in Spain they kiss on the cheek at first meet.
In America people also keep the distance at first, depending on places, but sometimes they might come to you with a warm-welcoming hug. In America people welcome you with hugging or handshaking. Kissing on the cheek might lead to some awful misunderstanding especially if it’s a man with woman. They might think that you love them.
In Asia, also depending on the country, but they have a formal way of saying Hi. Usually they bow when they say Hi to someone, especially the younger one to the older, or the employee to his employer. Hugging is not really common, even though their personal distance is not so large.
The structure of the road
Also it is depending on the country and its cities, but mostly I realized that the structure of the country varies in different continents.
In Asia you can hardly find your way back, since the roads are criss-crossed. When you get there you might have to ask the local many times for the way to get somewhere.
In Europe it is much structured. Most of the time looking at the map is enough for you to find your way. But there are still times you might want to ask someone rather than finding it by yourself.
In America it is structured like you just need to go straight and then turn left of right and then you are where you need to be. Map is only needed to know where you need to turn.
In Asia you can taste many local food, in every country with an affordable price. You can find them almost in every street, so you can eat them like a local. Fastfood restaurant is not really common in Asia, since the local food is easy to get with a good price and healthier.
In Europe you might need to go to restaurant to taste the traditional local food, with the price that you might not really want to spend on it. That’s why you would rather get into fastfood restaurant, or get a sandwich to survive a day during your trip.
America is famous for it’s fastfoods and burgers. You can find fastfood restaurant here everywhere, but the interesting part is that they are restaurant. So after you go in, you wait for free table, you sit down and then they take your order, then you wait for many minutes for them to bring your food out. The things that you can order are like burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, but you can eat them in a really formal way.
In Asia you might meet a person who live with his parents and also his children. It is a common things that three generations live together. That is their mindset, that they have a responsibility to take care of their parents, so even after the marriage they still live with them. It is convenient for the woman who gives birth to a child, because she doesn’t need to worry about finding a nanny. The youth there also don’t really want to live far from their parents (only if they study in another city, then there is no other choice). After they get a job some of them still live with their parents, some of them move out, but they still help their parents with covering all of the expense that is need for the household.
In Europe when a youth get into university, it is common that they rent a house with their friend or live in dormitory. When they already have a job, most of them don’t live with their parents anymore. If yes, then people might think that that person is incapable to earn his own living and still need a financial support from his parents. But still it is not common that three generation live together as in Asia.
In America it’s the parents’ responsibility to provide a house to their own children. The Americans believe that freedom is something that everybody has a right to have. So you always have the right to do what you want, and people also let you to have it. Moving out or not, it’s your own choice.
Freedom and relationships
Asia which is in process of developing still has a conservative mindset, that’s why people are more attached to each other and depend on others, so things like loneliness is quite rare. They make decision by discussing the choice with others beforehand. Their quote is “My problem is your problem.” That’s why when you go to Asia, you feel people are more hospitable and more warm-hearted than in the Western countries.
America is a modern place, a country of freedom, where you can almost do whatever you want, and everybody needs to respect it. The best thing is that there are also people who will support you, even if your opinion is not the same as theirs. They respect those who dare to express themselves. So that’s why when you are there you can feel that you are yourself.
Europe, I would say it is a mixture of Asia and America. You can have your own freedom here, but you are still depended on the other people around you, because you don’t want to be left alone. Here when you fight for your own freedom you might find yourself facing with the fact that people are leaving you, but then you will find those who are truly meant to be by your side and help you to achieve your goals, if you are persistent enough.
Travelling to as many country as you can will broaden your mind like this. At first you might think that this culture is better than that, that culture is cruel, but by time you will realize that it doesn’t matter anymore. You learn to accept the others and you will find the other culture is so interesting, and extraordinary and you won’t judge whether it is good or bad, you just accept the fact. Because if a culture is not like that, then it wouldn’t have a different name and considered as a different culture.