“Dominga Philomen Laveau”
Nikeisha S. Sandy
COM360:Advanced Communications in Society(BCH1233A)
Instructor: Gina Rollings
September 17, 2012
Intercultural communication is defined as communications on face to face level between people of different cultures. “Intercultural communication involves the interaction of persons from cultural communities that are different”( Hinchcliff-Pelias, & Greer, 2004)). Intercultural communication can be extremely difficult at times as there are several barriers to communication. In order to understand the barriers of communication between different cultures, we have to look at the point of view of someone from a different culture. This paper is ...view middle of the document...
I believe this is out of fear of being misunderstood due to her language barrier.
Although Dominga speaks English, it is not her first language. Being raised in Pascal, a small island belonging to Venezuela, Dominga was raised speaking Atwell. This dialect is a mixture of both creole and Spanish. Many times when we are having a conversation, Dominga drifts off and speaks in her native language. This confuses me and I have to remind her that I only understand English. “Finding the right balance which allows us to effectively recognize that we are dealing with a bilingual situation can limit inter-lingual interference” (Springer, 2005, para.8).
Although her memory is limited, allowing her to remember only parts of her past, Dominga does have several memories of her childhood. She can remember as far back as when she was five years old and had her first job. Living with her auntie Ayona, Laveau, as I like to call her, was working in the road with her aunt. Her job was to pick up stones from the dry river and take the stones to a wheel barrow. When each employee got paid, they would give Dominga $.50 for her help. However, as she remembers, her aunt kept Dominga’s earnings all for herself.
At that time the economy was very difficult. On sunny days, Dominga had to go to work in the garden with her aunt to help work. When it rained, there was no work so she was able to go to school. She has no memory of the government since she was rarely in school. As a young girl growing up, Dominga had a very rough life. People were always trying to use her. It seems her best childhood times were spent living in Pascal with her Auntie Une.
Another memory that has been implanted in Dominga’s mind is not a very pleasant one. When she was eight years old, she went to live with her father and stepmother. Her step grandmother despised her because she was a horn child, or the child of another woman. Even though her stepmother was nice to her, her step grandmother treated her terribly. There was one time when Dominga was given a very small piece of cake and it tasted so good that she took another piece without asking. This was a big mistake. Not only was Dominga beaten, her step grandmother put her to lay on her back and poured hot candle wax all over her back. A few days later her mother came and removed her from this abusive situation and took her to live with yet another aunt that lived in Pascal.
When I asked Dominga what she remembers of the experience of being an immigrant during that time, she seemed a little offended. She said “I am not an immigrant, I am an American citizen”. After having a good laugh on my best friend’s behalf I explained to her that even though a person has been naturalized by the United States, they are still considered an immigrant if they were born in another country. It took a little convincing, but I think she finally accepted the fact that she is an immigrant.
The first experience in America was a scary one. Longing for her...