As the North Pole is farther away from the South Pole and there are no chances of them meeting, so are the cultural and social differences between people who live in different countries and continents. Although we are naturally different, the environments from which we grow up contribute a lot on how we behave, how we perceive ourselves as well as what we believe in. For instant, there is a great different between people who live in Saudi Arabia and those that live in the United States of America. Some of the differences are experienced through their values, cultural practices, faith, civilization and freedom.
Looking at these differences closely; starting with the religion, Americans and Saudi Arabians have different beliefs. While Americans have a wide range of religions and the freedom to choose which one to believe in, almost the whole population of Saudi Arabia believes in Islam.
Among the religions that are practiced in the U.S.A include Buddhism, Islamic, Christianity and Judaism among others. Christianity is however the religion with many followers whereby there are the Catholics and the Protestants and the bible is the only books that these followers use (Campbell and Kean 103). On the contrary, Saudi Arabians base their faith in Allah and the Koran is their holy scripture (Lipsky 300). It is required by the constitution that every citizen be a Muslim; therefore citizens have no freedom to choose which faith to believe in.
Another difference that is conspicuous between the Americans and the Saudi Arabians is social roles. Saudi Arabians still hold to ancient traditions and customs whereby different genders play role in the society (Bin Ladin 254). For instance, the man is the final decision maker in the family and he can make any decision he pleases without the woman’s contribution. Women have no right to make decisions and they have to consult men in everything they do. Also women have no voices and they are not allowed to speak before a crowd. Women are supposed to submit to men to a point that they are not allowed to drive a car (Bin Ladin 244). On the other hand, Americans’ cultural values and customs are diluted. There are equal roles between men and women. A couple makes decisions together and they can approve or disapprove either person’s idea. Women can speak anywhere in public and they can also drive (Bin Ladin 70).
Another difference is seen in unity and leadership. In Saudi Arabia, the whole society works together for the good of them all. There is no individuality or jealousy; people work collectively and no one becomes envious when another person prospers. This is partially brought about by their belief and partially by the leadership. Every person at work is supposed to obey and follow the orders of the boss even if he were wrong. Workers are only supposed to follow the mind of the boss thus they can not make decisions on their own when at work. Hierarchy is highly valued (Lipsky 163). In America on the contrary, every person has a place in the work place; the boss sits with the workers and together they discuss all the matters pertaining to the organization (Campbell and Kean 16). There is however individuality where everyone strives to prosper on his own.
As mentioned earlier, Saudi Arabians still value tradition and hang on into religion; the relationship between parents and children is still valued. Children are expected to honor their parents regardless of the age. A child remains a child as long as the parent lives and will have to take all the orders from the parent (Lipsky 53). For example, a mature son can be asked to do something by his father and he should not be indecisive even if it is against his will. While in America, children are let to live their own lives as soon as they prove to their parents that they can take care of themselves. At this time, the parents no longer make decisions for them and the children are left to make their own decisions no matter how the outcome will be.
In terms of geographical size and population, USA is larger than Saudi Arabia. It has a population of approximately 300 million with fifty states. It is ranked the third in both size and population. Therefore not only does it constitute a large population but a varied culture as well (Lipsky 257). Saudi Arabia conversely has a population of around twenty-eight million, six million of which is composed of foreigners. It has an area of 2.15m km2.