Type of paper: Report

Topic: Culture, People, Subculture, Conversation, Community, Love, Life, Experience

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/14

In the contemporary world of globalisation and internationalisation of human lives, various cultures meet in the most unexpected ways, although it is often conditioned by job motivations. While some cultural sets are more adaptive to changes and perceptive of differences, others tend to be more conservative in their perception of world overview. It is particularly difficult to become part of the various sub-cultures within national identity culture. In this regard, various lifestyle cultures that are conditioned by national and certain ideological beliefs are the most difficult to understand and get accepted. This paper is aimed to report an experiment conduct to test intercultural differences that personally I experienced in a Biker Bar in Daytona Beach. In this regard, attention is primarily paid to my personal perceptions and experiences I have gained in the process.
Visiting the place was particularly interesting because I have nothing in common with bikers’ culture. I have never driven a bike in my life; I do not drink alcohol, and I am not into tattoos. I am also from the Middle East where this type of hobby is not spread. I was both anticipating and worried about how I would be treated there. In my imagination, I expected to see an old bar with a lot of smoke and lots of beer bottles, everyone wearing leather jackets and covered in tattoos. Therefore, my perception was based on the movies and some journal articles I read before coming in. On the other hand, what I have seen was slightly different from my expectations. The bar was quite light and tidy; some people were wearing leather jackets while the others had various elements of denim. Some had tattoos while the orders just wore scarfs characteristic to their biker club.
When I entered the bar, there were about two dozens of people. A began looking around curiously which is probably what gave me away. As I was passing people on my way to the bar, they were looking right into my face examining and evaluating. I must admit the feeling was not the most pleasant one. It felt as if I was studied for verification to which category I belonged. These glares were also very alienating. They felt like they wanted to say that I did not belong there and that I had nothing in common with them. In other words, I felt very unwelcomed in that place. Nevertheless, I came to the bar and set in the middle away from anyone else, some of the clientele looked more than just fierce. I waited for almost ten minutes observing how bartender was talking to one of the clients ignoring me entirely. Then, when I waved at him he finally approached me and asked in very loud voice: “What fuel?” I did not understand what he meant by fuel, and then I told him that I did not ride motorcycles and I was not a biker myself, that is why could not understand what he was asking me about. Then the bartender laughed loudly and said in a very straightforward manner: “We can tell you are not a biker, but what do you want to drink since you are in a biker bar?” I heard some laughs from behind my back. They became even louder when I said I did not drink alcohol and that I would prefer a coke. The bartender was not very impressed by that, but he served me what I had ordered. My overall impression of this interaction was that I completely did not belong there and I had no idea about the rules of the game in that culture.
Things changed when a girl in her late twenties set next to me and addressed me straight away, asking who I was and what I was doing in the place where I obviously did not belong. I have introduced myself, while she only said her name was Rose. I explained that I was doing research about different cultures and that I came here to learn what biker’s culture is about. She smiled at me saying that I was very brave to come here alone without any acquaintances among bikers. Then she stood up on her chair and whistled very loudly she addressed everyone in the bar: “Hey guys. We’ have got a newbie here, who wants to know what biker culture is about. Let’s tell him why we burn the rubber for. Show how hospitable bikers can be to those who are ready to listen and learn”. It was very awkward but, all of a sudden, everyone came to us, and we became the centre of attention. I have learned from the articles that older bikers easily communicate with one another, while the younger ones need to deserve respect (McDonald-Walker, 2000). On the other hand, this girl demonstrated more power than I could expect in that situation. Then various bikers began telling me stories about why they have chosen this path and the main rules of a biker community. I was curious to learn the insides of a new culture. However, I did not expect that it would happen in such a friendly and informal manner.
My initial feeling of alienation disappeared and felt really welcomed and accepted. In this regard, the main reason the perception of my persona has changed was because I was explained to the new environment by Rose (Christiansen, 2012). She acted as my mediator in my attempt to enter the unknown environment. In this regard, this experience demonstrated that the primary problem in intercultural understanding is the initiation of negotiations and the ability to explain one to another in order to destroy the existing prejudice and stereotypical thinking dominating misperception of both sides (Bono & Heijden, 2011). In this regard, if I was not so confused with my own feeling of alienation and difference, I could have spoken to bartender or any other biker in a different manner, explaining what I was doing and why I was there. Then it would eliminate at least a certain degree of uncertainty about time to those people who considered that bar their home and natural environment of community gathering and their lifestyle (McDonald-Walker, 2000). In this regard, certain assimilating techniques could be useful in order not to shock people by my appearance as well. White shirt and a pair of formal trousers with black shoes were not the most encouraging clothes for bikers to talk to me, but found it out only after talking to them.
Another essential observation regarding inter-cultural understanding is that culture should not be perceived as a uniformed criterion to evaluate people. They all are different, and their interest in motorcycles is also drive by different motives. It is also essential to see people and not just representatives of a certain culture (Christiansen, 2012). When I had heard various life-stories from different people, I began to realise that they all had different lives just like me, and the only thing they had in common was love for bikes and the sense of freedom it was giving them (McDonald-Walker, 2000). Realising this core feature of biker culture, I began to relate to these people even more. Cognitively, I was comparing myself and my own experiences with theirs and I began to realise that we had a lot in common, and it was not in our looks or outfit or even love to motorcycles. It was about sharing the same values, because no matter how different lifestyles are and which hobbies people prefer, they all care for their families, hope for their dreams to come true, deal with problems at work and try to balance personal and communal activities as well do. After these conversations, it no longer mattered who was a biker and who was not. We were just people talking about personal life stories. I think that in intercultural workplace management this type of informal interactions is crucial for the improvement of understanding (Bono & Heijden, 2011).
Another important aspect of my experience was that in order to understand a certain culture one needs an inside guide to explain what is actually going on or at least to introduce you to people. The main rationale for this aspect is dual. First of all, the insider would obviously know whom a newcomer needs to talk in order to understand the culture better or whom it is better to avoid (Christiansen, 2012). Thus, this rationale is aimed at efficiency of learning practice in a functional rather than a hard way. On the other hand, the second reason refers to behaviouristic aspect of human nature. In this regard, just as in the world of animals, people belonging to a highly cohesive community tend to be suspicious of newcomers because they are unknown and serve as the source of uncertainty and danger (Christiansen, 2012). In this regard, it does not matter how a person looks like and how much more intimidating the members of the community can be, it is the uncertainty that causes concern and cautious attitude towards newcomers (Bono & Heijden, 2011). Therefore, when a newcomer is presented by a well-known person in the community, it serves as a certain guarantee that this person takes responsibility for the newcomer and thus he is less unknown and dangerous. My personal experience of how friendly bikers became after I was introduced by Rose support this behaviouristic argument.
As we were finishing our conversation, one of the old bikers put his hand on my shoulder and said that it was the time I became a member of their community and that the best way to do so would to make a tattoo of their club. I think I looked entirely petrified and could not say a word. Then everyone started laughing at my face and my reaction to the suggestion. Now, I know that it was just a joke, but at that time I felt like the trust I had in these people was betrayed. I also understood that bikers are simple people like me or anyone else, just with different kind of humour and way of expressing their feelings. This experience helped to realise that in order to overcome inter-cultural differences, we have to see what we all have in common and then proceed from there.
Overall, my personal impression from this experience is that when two cultures meet, misunderstanding and alienation are unavoidable if one thinks in terms of prejudice and stereotypes. On the other hand, if a person is open-minded and treats everyone equally than the process of intercultural exploration would turn into a conversation about interesting features of each culture rather than a competition between whose culture is better. At the end of the day, all cultures are unique and thus are not comparable. Regarding my initial feeling of alienation when I was not yet accepted by the group, it was awful to feel like I did not belong there. By demonstrating their explicit cultural difference, they made me feel lost and faulty in a certain sense. I think being in a group and belonging to a certain culture, we often forget that we might make other people alienated and uncomfortable if we treat them in terms of group and not individual perspective. We have to preserve our cultural identity because it is who we are, however, we have to see individuals in people we met and not just the culture they represent.


Bono, S. & Heijden, B. (2011). Managing Cultural Diversity. London: Meyer & Meyer.
Christiansen, B. (2012). Cultural Variations and Business Performance: Contemporary
Globalism. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
McDonald-Walker, S. (2000). Bikers: Culture, Politics & Power. London: Bloomsbury

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WePapers. (2020, December, 14) Report On The Culture Of Humanity. Retrieved September 25, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/report-on-the-culture-of-humanity/
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Report On The Culture Of Humanity. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/report-on-the-culture-of-humanity/. Published Dec 14, 2020. Accessed September 25, 2022.

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