What is an example of culture-rich points?

Sean Getty, MS, OTR/L

January 11, 2016

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What is an example of culture-rich points?

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When I was in Japan, there were so many rich points. For example, one day I got lost in Tokyo. I was in the middle of Tokyo and was lost for about 45 minutes. I asked a police officer for directions as there were no street signs in Tokyo, which is so different from New York City. In New York, there is a street sign on every corner. The Tokyo police officer said, “You walk 15 minutes that way and then you make a right turn.” I’m 6 foot 4 and she was about 5 foot. I walked for 15 minutes and I then I made a right turn. I probably walked about a mile past where I needed to walk. All of the different aspects really made me want to step back and say, "Wow, how different our culture is from Tokyo." All of the different things, whether it was from the food to the way that people engaged with each other. 

Another example was when I was in Atlanta. Every person I walked by said, “Oh, how are you?” In New York City, part of my culture, that never happens. You walk by people all day long and no one says anything. It was a rich point for me because it helped me to see the difference between the two cities. In the Atlanta culture, it is more welcoming, saying hi to strangers. In New York, if you smile someone on the street, they are going to think something is up. It is a rich point for me because it highlights those differences between their culture and my culture, but it also gives me more insight into some of those values and beliefs of their culture.


sean getty

Sean Getty, MS, OTR/L

Sean M. Getty, MS, OTR/L is Site Coordinator and Clinical Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University at Southampton.  His background is in community-based mental health recovery, where he has implemented multiple interdisciplinary programs for persons with mental illness.  He has worked with diverse cultural groups with community settings and has created an assessment tool to evaluate the impact of culture on an individual's occupations.  He has supervised over 250 students on fieldwork affiliations and has received two awards for fieldwork supervision.  He has presented about mental health recovery on state, national, and international platforms. He currently serves as board secretary for Connetquot Cares, a non-profit organization currently being established to address substance abuse and mental health via partnering the community and the school district.


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