African and Afro-American Studies
“If you were in Afghanistan would you have to wear a hijab?” After being asked that question all of my life, I focused my entire honor’s project on bringing light to the misconceptions regarding Afghanistan and its people. I do this through extensive research into a diaspora of an Afghan families and the creation of an instructional video. . There are many ways in which Afghanistan and the United States are similar, but also different, which is also showcased by Afghans throughout the video. Afghan members from different generations have shared their perspective, experiences, and lifestyles and explained how Afghanistan and the culture in America vary. In the course of this video, I hoped to have accomplished eliminating the predetermined ideas of what people believe Afghanistan and its people to be like based on what they see and hear on the news and social media.
Through directed research, I learned about intercultural communication and how it plays a role in the way cultures communicate differently. Intercultural communication is the sharing of information, knowledge, experiences, and sentiments by people of different cultures. “Communicating between cultures means the sharing and mutual understanding of different cultural backgrounds, preconditions and conditions of people linked together,”(Anthropos, 646). “Intercultural communication can be difficult due to the language barrier, processes accented speech, stereotypes, perception of appropriateness/inappropriateness, and the lack of mindfulness that exists. Researchers have noted to overcome such difficulties requires motivation, a positive attitude, communication skills of empathetic listening and instrumental expression,” (Young, Faux, 186). After conducting interviews with Afghans, some of the results and findings are contradicting and shocking.
This project will shed light on the culture in Afghanistan, compare and contrast life in Afghanistan versus America, and reveal the intergenerational differences that exist among an Afghan family and their generations. More importantly, it will hopefully get rid of the negative connotations tied to Afghanistan.