English Comp II
February 19, 2018
Is life in a foreign country really different than in the United States? A lot of people think so, including actress Cameron Diaz, who says “believe me, you can get into a lot of trouble being sixteen years old in a foreign country with no adult telling you when to come home.” Similarly, this is something I can actually relate to being as though I’ve lived in Ghana and America as well. The different things about the two countries are the fact that America is a free country and you can do and wear whatever you want versus Ghana where you’re not really allowed to wear and or do whatever you want because some things are frowned upon. Even though there are some differences in some aspects of life in a foreign country vs. the United States, there are some similarities as well.
One of the aspects that the United States and a foreign country have similarities and differences in are their fashion. When it comes to American style, its influenced by French fashion and Asian fashion as well. People are free to express themselves through their sense of style as they are allowed to dress however they want due to America being a free country. The fashion is also widely influenced by celebrities and the media (Zimmerman, 2017). For example, Americans are widely known for wearing Air Jordans by Michael Jordan; they’re worn by adults, children, women, and men. Also, brands such as Michael Kors, Adidas, Nike, and Victoria’s Secret are some well-known brands that are worn all over the United States. In addition, vintage outfits are incorporated into everyday clothing by women and men, but especially by women. For example, women are wearing more denim mom-jeans and they’re also bringing back the beret and cabby hats that were worn in the 1980s and 1990s. Furs have become a favorite coat to wear in the winter along with Ugg Australian boots. However, when it comes to style in foreign countries such as Ghana, they’re are influenced by fabrics such as kente, textiles, colors and garments. The kente cloth is the most recognizable and most expensive cloth in Ghana. They are mostly worn by the rich such as the President, royal families, and those who are fortunate. Furthermore, they’re worn to festivals, gatherings, church and important events. The kente fabric is used to make kaba, which is a long skirt and top worn mostly by older women but it can also be used to make dresses, pants, bags, jewelry, outerwear, jumpsuits, rompers and shorts. Although, these two countries have differences, they also have similarities in fashion such as the fact that even though they have their own style, they also both wear regular clothes such as t-shirts, sandals/slippers, designer labels like Gucci, jeans, and shorts.
Food is another aspect in which the United States and a foreign country have similarities and differences. In America, Chinese foods, such as fried rice, are some cuisines you can get in some restaurants just like Ghana, where you can go to any restaurant and find this on the menu. Also, fast food chain restaurant KFC can be found in both Ghana and the United States serving both fried chicken and fries. However, the two countries have their own styles of foods. For example, in America, they have southern-style cooking that’s often called “American comfort food (Zimmermann, 2017). It consists of fried chicken, collard greens, mac and cheese, candied yams, and corn bread that’s mostly eaten on thanksgiving and Christmas and other holidays. In addition, they eat other foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, meat loaf, cheeseburgers, and rice with gravy. Moreover, Americans love Spanish food as they have multiple Mexican food chains such as Taco Bell and Chipotle that serve burritos, tacos, and nachos. On the other hand, Ghanaian foods include porridges, Tom Tom and Coco that are breakfast foods. They’re eaten with sugar, milk and bread. In addition to that, Ghanaians also eat kontomire stew with yams and plantains, jollof rice which is white rice cooked in stew to make it come out looking red/orange with vegetables and meat. Other favorites are kenkey with pepper, shito (a spicy sauce processed with dry fish, shrimp, and black pepper), fish and or fried egg, fried plantains with beans stew, waakye which is brown rice with beans in it, boiled egg, meat, stew, spaghetti, and gari, banku and okoro stew, and fufu which is pounded cassava, and plantains with soup.
The last aspect that has some similarities and differences of life in United States and a foreign country is the sports. In both countries, sports are very important to the culture. The sports are televised for everyone to watch in both the United States and a foreign country such as Ghana. In addition, sports like boxing and football are two types of sports that are played in both countries. However, in America, a lot more sports are recognized than in Ghana. The United States is a sports-minded country, with millions of fans who follow football, baseball, basketball and hockey, among other sports (Zimmerman, 2017). For example, baseball was once the social center of American life and as a result, people call it “America’s pastime” (Perell, 2017). Furthermore, football also became one of the most dominant sports in America, with it being a big part of the culture. Every Sunday during football season is when it’s televised on T.V. or you can go to the stadium and watch in person. Basketball and hockey are also part of the culture in America. Nonetheless, soccer known as football in Ghana is the number one sport there. They have an international football team called Ghana Black Stars for the men’s’ team and Ghana Black Queens for the women’s team. Some of the local teams are Asante Kotoko, Hearts of Oak Accra and Ashanti Gold Obuasi.
All in all, though some aspects of life in the United States are different from a foreign country such as Ghana, there are also some similarities. These aspects include the fashion, food and sports in America and Ghana. Despite the similarity between these two countries, it’s great to encounter the two nations so you can see and learn new things. [Word Count: 1109 words].
- Zimmerman, A. K. (2017). American Culture: Traditions and Customs of the United States. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/28945-american-culture.html
- Thompson, N. (2016). 20 Ghanaian Foods You Should Try. Retrieved from http://mywekutastes.com/20-ghanaian-foods-you-should-try/#.WoZDQbbMx-U
- Doku, O. R. (2014). Kente: The History of Ghanaian Fashion, and Why it’s Exploding Worldwide. Retrieved from http://www.africandynamo.com/2014/02/kente-history-of-ghanaian-fashion-and.html
- Perell, D. (2017). The Future of American Sports. Retrieved from https://medium.com/the-mission/the-future-of-american-sports-ed293dc6596c