Hawaiian and Yemeni Cultures
At first glance I thought the only similarities Nujood and I would have are the fact that we’re both women and we both have hair. I had heard little about her culture and thought there was no way it could compare to mine. I was fortunate enough to grow up in Hawaii where I was surrounded with love, acceptance, and happiness – the aloha spirit! In the Hawaiian culture, nobody is better than anybody else. Everyone is welcomed with open arms and a big hug just so long as you aren’t a jerk!
Hawaiian culture actually has some major differences not only from Yemeni culture, but from dominant American culture as well. Although the Yemen values as far as leadership in men are much more intense than those in America, it is still evident than men are the more powerful sex here. In Hawaii that is not the case. Heck, some of the women are bigger and more intimidating than the men! Those women are called “titas” and you do not want to get on their bad side. I did notice that growing up in a house with three brothers and my father, it was harder for me to be heard. In that way I can relate to Nujoods struggle, but my lack of confidence was due simply to being outnumbered. I do have to say, having all those boys around me all the time did keep me protected, even if I didn’t want the protecting! My father did the opposite of Nujoods father. He made it very clear from a young age that dating was out of the picture. I was to be a daddy’s girl for the rest of my life and that was that!
When I first moved to California I was unaware of how different things would be. In my first week here I had an encounter with the police over something I thought was so absurd! I went to the little store right up the street from my house just to grab a snack. I was only going in and out and wouldn’t be gone for more than five minutes. When the police called my mom I was just as humiliated as she was, I could not believe what was happening. When my mom pulled...