Intro to Culture & Intercultural Faux Pas. WorldGeography 2010-2011. What is culture?. features of a group of people’s way of life, passed down through generations by teachings, examples and imitation. What is culture?. Innovation: creation. Diffusion: spreading of ideas.
Intro to Culture & Intercultural Faux Pas
features of a group of people’s way of life, passed down through generations by teachings, examples and imitation.
Diffusion: spreading of ideas.
Hearth: Where something originates
Center of learning and innovation that diffuses to other regions
When people move, they take their clothing, food, religion, and language with them.
Ethnocentrism:judging other cultures by the rules of your culture.
Xenophobia:fear of outsiders (limits diffusion)
“For more security.”
Ex. education, political/economic systems
Elements of Culture
Beliefs and Customs
It is illegal to chew gum, feed birds,
spit, and not flush the toilet.
The gum law was loosened in 2004,
when they started to allow
Gambling was made legal in 2009, and
you can now legally dance on top of
Fines will run you ~$100.
Be careful in Brazil, even if you are a married man. Women are very forward and aggressive romantically.
In China, the last name is spoken first, followed by the "first" name. For instance, Chen Yung Po would be Mr. Chen.
People in Thailand, Fiji and Israel call one another by their first names, as they do in Iceland, where the telephone directory is alphabetized according to first name.
Your Chinese host gives you his business card. What do you do then?
Exchanging cards is a very important tradition. You should offer and accept cards with both hands. Read it and then put it away. Do not write anything on it. It should be in the native language on one side and English on the reverse.
After a long day’s travel, you are in Bulgaria. You make a great presentation and ask your Bulgarian interpreter what they think.
Before he can translate, the Bulgarian businessman starts to shake his head side to side.
What is he saying?
I can’t understand a word you are saying.
Yes, the deal sounds very interesting.
It is time to offer the customary bribe for doing business in Bulgaria.
When cutting food, what do we Americans do that Europeans consider odd?
We hold fork with the left hand, cut with the right, then switch the fork to the right hand. Europeans don’t switch the fork over.
How could the “peace sign” get you punched in the nose in London?
Careful, the reverse “peace sign” is the equivalent of flipping someone off.