Cultural Interview Essay

Submitted By Jrhoden1
Words: 1001
Pages: 5

Jonathan Rhoden
SOC 100
Professor Salam

Cultural Interview

The idea of having to interview someone from another country and ask them personally what it was that they found interesting about this country was something that I found exciting. There are so many people who live in NY and there are many opportunities to learn something from the people that we interact with in everyday life. One such person I have known for most of my life seeing as how I have lived next to this person for as long as I can remember. For my cultural interview I choose to interview my neighbor Elroy. I have never had an extended conversation with him and I thought this would be a good way to finally learn more about him as opposed to the simple greeting that we would give each other every time we crossed paths in the morning. A major reason why I wanted to interview Elroy was because of the fact that he is Haitian and I have always wondered what life on other Caribbean islands is like and whether or not they are mostly the same. My dad came from Jamaica so I have a good idea of what life is like on the islands, and I wanted to see if the same could be said in Haiti. Once I started the interview I found that there are some similarities when it comes to islands in the Caribbean but there are also some very large differences. You would think that someone who grew up in NYC would already have a good understanding on how diverse things can be in the world but, at the same time it was a good lesson for me. That being said I really enjoyed this project because of the information I was able to gather but also because I was able to connect with someone who I generally didn’t associate with or even consider outside of a complimentary hello. My interviewee for this project was Elroy Bertin, who came to America when he was 21 from Port-au-Prince Haiti the capitol of the country. He has been in America for the past 25 years and while living here he has been working as a Para legal for a law firm in the city. At first when I asked him if I could interview him he was a little hesitant I guess because of the fact that I rarely made an attempt to talk to him but once I explained what I was doing he changed his mind, and almost seemed happy to answer any questions about his native country of Haiti. I was surprised to learn that in Haiti one of the things that is different then in America is the fact that when it comes to gender women seem to take a back seat to most things. Elroy went on to explain to me that outside of the education system women really don’t have a prominent role in society outside of caring for the family and any basic things women would do. Whether it is taking care of the house, making dinner, or raising the children. For me this was an eye opener because even though Haiti is considered a third-world country I thought that it was a country that wasn’t that repressed in the sense of women’s rights and the roles that they played in day-to-day life. Another major thing that Elroy talked about was the fact that the quality of living is something that is a major difference in Haiti compared to America. Especially after all the earthquakes that happen in Haiti it makes it hard of some people to have a good quality of life because nothing is guaranteed when it comes to the earthquakes. He said that is one of the reasons why he moved to America because of the fact that he wanted a…