Students share what they respect and want to change in their cultures

Written by: 
Gosuke Kawano
BYUH Flag Circle

BYU-Hawaii students shared their feelings about what they respect about their home countries’ cultures and what changes they wish to see within them.


Welly Seupule, a senior graphic design major from Samoa

Respect: He said Samoan culture focuses on the some of the values in the LDS Church such as the importance of education.

Change: He said people in Samoa try to be competitive with each other by showing off their substances as they hold their weddings or funerals.


Sati Fa’asisila, a sophomore mathematics major from Samoa

Respect: She said she likes the fact that younger people respect elderly people and said Samoan people “show respect by the way they walk and talk.”

Change: She said the good things in her culture have been influenced negatively by modern technologies or new ways of thinking. 


Amber Stevenson, a freshmen international cultural studies major from Utah

Respect: “Individualism and the right to speak your mind and be who you would like to be... I like the diversity. America is like a mixing pot. You don’t come to America to expect to be an American but can express your own culture.”

Change: “We are so rude. We take the freedom of speech thing way too far. We don’t respect everyday strangers.” 


Courageous Herrera, sophomore biology major from Tennessee

Respect: “We are very patriotic and very proud of where we come from and what we have been though.”

Change: “The oppression of other people. I don’t feel that’s really fair if we have the ability to take something from other people and then we take it. I don’t think that’s what God likes, but that’s what we have done in the history, and I think that’s how we will continue to do. If we have something stronger than somebody, we use that fact to take things from people. The country itself was founded upon the oppression of others.”


Hanseul Jung, a junior business major from South Korea

Respect: He said he feels Koreans can say whatever they want to. In addition, he thinks Koreans like helping people.

Change: “They are really judgmental because they have strong personalities, and they may judge you a lot based on what they think is right.” He said he also doesn’t think older people should be respected just because of their age. “I think respect is something that can be earned by their conducts.”


Mina Park, a senior biology education major from South Korean

Respect: She said Koreans are polite, and she loves the food. Her favorite food is Tteok-bokki.

Change: “Gossiping. They just kind of click with each other when they gossip. There is a lot of gossiping going on.”


Wing Yan Lam, sophomore psychology major from Hong Kong

Respect: “Hong Kong has multiple cultures because of its history. We have lots of English cultures and some Japanese cultures. I like the fact that being exposed to different cultures [enables] us to [learn to] respect other people.”

Change:  “I don’t like that there are a lot of myths. For example, on the second day of the Chinese New Year we cannot go out because we [are] afraid we would say something wrong.”


Chun Ho Chik, a junior hospitality and tourism management and business major from Hong Kong

Respect: “How people are dedicated to their jobs, and their wise use of time. Places [like stores] are really quick in Hong Kong.”

Change: “The trend of people videoing others’ weird behavior and posting them on the internet.  This causes a serious problems of internet bullying.”

Date Published: 
Friday, April 21, 2017
Last Edited: 
Friday, April 21, 2017