Cultural Bamboozles

Its not very often that we hear about the differences that divide us. Instead, more often than not, we hear about how small the world has become, about how easy it is to communicate. Easier said than done perhaps.

Noticing the differences that separate people from different parts of the world is still marked and important.

For example, how often have we in India taken "five minutes" to mean anything from "15 minutes" to "one hour"? Anything BUT "five minutes". Move over to Europe or across the Atlantic, the delay will not be looked at indulgently, but instead will be taken in a more serious-faux pas manner.

The eastern culture places a great emphasis on family pride and what not. Compare this to the western world's (more notably American) pride in individual achievements.
There is nothing that your family does, which technically will override your own accomplishments. No wonder there are so many self-made people there.

Notice the difference in explanation. Some start from the basics, the complete core if you will. More often than not, I notice that some cultures do not place as much emphasis on that.

Sit on urgent business with an Arab they say, and you will spend more than half your time inquiring about the health of their family. It is not that they do not consider your business to be "urgent", but rather its their way of tradition and culture that places a great importance on kinship. There is an emphasis on ceremony and social rules.
Americans on the other hand, have their own endearing culture of directness, which is refreshing and personally preferred.
Example: Heard the story of the Japanese official who took offense as his subordinate was placed on a "higher" floor than he was? Ouch!

There are many more facets I am sure that are not mentioned here, like non-verbal communication (a person's body language).

One universal truth, SMILE. Its the most easily understood form of communication.


Susanne Green said...

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Susanne Green
medical assistant

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