In general, the cultures of USA and Saudi Arabia are absolutely different and even contradict each other

In general, the cultures of USA and Saudi Arabia are absolutely different and even contradict each other. As a term, culture is considered to be a set of usages, customs and beliefs that determine the existence of the society and relationships among its members. According to the researches of the American culture was formed under the influence of the society that is satisfied by realizing a number of rights and freedoms foreseen for them by laws. The principle of private autonomy and rule of law form the basis for existing of the American society. Instead of this, it is inherent for Arabians to carry a lot of duties and obligations and to strictly follow the rules without any exception.

Generally speaking, all spheres of life are directly used by religion. It is a common knowledge fact that freedom of worship is not recognized in many countries. The religion of 100% Arabian population is Islam. If a person has another faith or beliefs he or she may be expatriated or punished. Since the source of Islam is Quran, every act, thought must be in accordance to it. Therefore, the life as well as culture of Arabian people, their usages and beliefs, are mainly determined by the rules of Quran. Unlike Saudi Arabia, people in the USA are entitled to choose the kind of religion and choose it anytime they consider it necessary. Moreover, they are not punished or blamed for failure of religious duties as it is in Saudi Arabia and perform all their activities solely upon a voluntary basis.

As was already mentioned, Saudi Arabia is a conservative country. Its conservatism applies to the literature works, as well as to the music and theatre performances. Similarly as the freedom of religion, freedom of expression is also very restricted and sometimes even not recognized. There is a special agency which checks whether a literature work or theatre performance is realized in accordance with Quran, Muslim traditions and without an intention to spread immorality, dissent or disloyalty to the government of state. A lot of works are published in neighbor countries like Yemen, since they do not meet the requirements of censorship. The same applies to the press. In general, there is no freedom of press as such. The news of Saudi Arabia keeps its inhabitants well informed about the events of the country, the world, etc but very sensitive or taboo matters are not allowed to be discussed in the open public. In addition, this news is expected not to spread any ideas of dissent, disloyalty to the government of the country or immorality. Private discussions and debates in regard to the prohibited or sensitive matters are allowed but with the same requirements which apply to literature works and news. Moreover, men and women are expected to wear traditional clothes. For women it means wearing Abayach – traditional clothes that hide almost everything except for eyes. Women are not entitled to wear any other type of clothes and they do follow these rules because of the fear to be punished. Honestly speaking, these clothes in the best way correspond to the challenges brought by the hot climate of Saudi Arabia but still women are to be entitled to wear what they actually want. Instead of this, the people of America are empowered to freely express themselves wherever they want to, in any form they consider suitable. They can dress as they want, express and publish any literature works except for those that are considered to be immoral.

In Saudi Arabia, women and men are treated in different ways. Considering Arabian usages of women treatment it should be mentioned that, in general, women are entitled to less rights and freedoms in comparison with men. For example, they have no right to drive a car, to leave the house and go elsewhere without her father’s, brother’s or husband’s permission. They are not entitled to hold any official posts. They are expected to treat them very respectfully in regard to their husband’s will. In USA, everyone knows about the equality of genders. In broad terms, women are entitled by the laws to the same rights and freedoms as men. They can freely express themselves, go wherever and whenever they want, they are free to choose their environment, the people they will spend life with. Women in America can earn money for themselves and be completely independent from men. Finally, they can choose the man or woman they want to marry. Instead of this, in Saudi Arabia the wedding and the two persons which will constitute the wedding couple in the future are determined before they are even born and therefore, we cannot say that there is a freedom of choosing a partner for life.

Collectivism is an inherent feature of the Arabic world. On the contrary, it is considered for the Western conception of human role in the society that a human is created for the good of the state and its population. Therefore, everybody is expected to contribute to the society. A person is treated as a member of a certain group. In addition, unlike American people, Arabians prefer to work in groups and pass group decisions. While solving any problem, first and foremost they pay attention to the needs and interests of the group, not an individual. On the contrary, in the United States of America, it is more preferable to work individually and personally carry the responsibility for failure of duties if such happens. Moreover, Americans and Arabians have different attitudes to their bosses. In America, it is more common to discuss some issues with bosses, to introduce one’s own proposals as to solving this or that problems. Instead of this, in Saudi Arabia the relationships of subordination do exist and every employee has to strictly follow their boss’ will. To this regard Americans do not have any personal relations with their bosses without a few exceptions. And on the contrary, it is a widely spread situation in Saudi Arabia, when bosses and employees are close to each other.

Arabian people are used to live in big families, keeping in touch even over the dozens of years. It helps them to communicate with elder people and to acquire the useful and helpful skills and life experience. Instead of this, Americans are more separate from their parents and as usual they move from them at the age of 18-20. Of course, they keep in touch with family members and in some way it keeps them from absorbing the skills, experience and knowledge from their ancestry.

The religion of Saudi Arabia influences a lot of political issues in this country. According to Quran, people are not allowed to protest in the open public and they may be punished, especially in the case when they spread the ideas of dissent, separation, immorality or disloyalty to the government. Moreover, speaking about the political culture of Saudi Arabia, it should be mentioned that the opposite parties and any trade unions, as well as the non-governmental organizations are prohibited. Therefore, the people of Arabia cannot directly express their political will and all the meetings, gatherings and festivals are conducted in accordance to Quran rules.

The main religious event of the Arabian people is Ramadan. During this period people are expected to treat themselves more politely, devote their life for a little while to the performance of religious duties. Moreover, all events of the Saudi Arabia are determined by the Quran as the source of rules that govern the society.

Summing it all up, it should be said that American society is more open and free than the Arabic one. However, in my opinion, the conservatism of Saudi Arabia is an inherent feature of the last one, and its culture contributes to the diversity of the world, which in its turn makes our life more interesting and enjoyable.