Member Advice on Foreign Cultures
22 reviews from the community
Review of "Member Advice on Foreign Cultures"
I am currently living in a Christian community with around one hundred or so different people, and who all come from around twenty different countries. And so therefore, I would just like to think that I am in a very good position in order to be able to talk about living amongst some very different cultures.I have found that there are many pros and cons of doing this, even more so than my many times of having travelled to other countries. This is mainly because I think owing to the fact that I have of course in the past travelled to other countries and gotten to know people who are living in their own particular environment, however in this instance it is people who are coming to this country to live from abroad - therefore, they are in some ways having to get used to living in my own particular environment.
One thing that I do enjoy is learning about the cultures and ways of living of other countries, and I will try and respect some of their own particular ways of doing things. For example we have a number of people who are currently living here on community who are from various Asian countries, and to them it is considered to be very disrepectful to them to show the bottom of you feet to them - whether it be from crossing your legs, or just simply sitting back with your feet stretched out in front of you.And so therefore, I will always try not to do this if I am in their company - I know that I muck up on occasions, and they will tell me about this! I don't have to respect this, but I do feel that as they are here living in what I class as being my home country I will do my best to try and make them feel at home by doing something small such as this.
However one thing that I do find upsetting at times, is when people from other cultures coem here and expect us to immediately take on their customs. Another example that I have to give you is that there are a number of people from an African nation, who feel it rude to talk when you are sat down eating a meal. But whereas I see it rude eating with your mouth feel, I do however feel that it is OK to continue on with a conversation that was started properly whilst all being sat down together.Within the community that I live in, it is also a Christian retreat and conference centre whereby guests from outside can come and spend a few days here - either on their own, or as a part of a conference (or whatever else) that is taking part at that time. But as a part of it, the guests and the community members will then all sit down for lunch and dinner together - therefore, it is an ideal opportunity for people to get to know one another and to find out about else has been happening.
And upon arriving, one or two of the people who came from this particular African nation tried to get people to not talk at all during meals - without actually properly the whole cultural difference thing and the fact that this was something that was a cenral part of the life and soul of being here. Needless to say it didn't happen, and they didn't get the chance to stay here for very long because they were considered far too disruptive to the whole being of this particular Christian community. But with this said, the majority of them have been OK and have taken more of an active part here!I must also confess to having had some misconceived ideas about people who came from various nations in the past, which I will now say have been dispelled during my time here which has been great - I am also aware of this having also happened to other people too, but there are still some people who haven't been able to get past some of these things. But I guess that this is something that will always be in the forefront of living and working somewhere just like this, and it can only over time be worked through.
I would just like to finish this review off by just really encouraging you with a few things, as detailed below.The first thing is to not go through life having any preconceived ideas about other countries and the people that come from them, but rather embrace them as fellow human beings - you may also be able to show them that not all Brits are the same drinking and shouting football mad hooligans! In order to do this, you may find that you work or live alongside someone from another country. Just get to know them for who they are, maybe invite them out for a coffee or for something to eat.
The other way is to actually take some out, and live somewhere for a period of time such as I am doing. When you spend every minute of every day with them, you will then find that they do actually in fact start to rub off on you. And when this happens, you will find that you become less prone to forming and negative thoughts through not really knowing anything about them.This period of time so far has by far been one of if not the best few months of my life so far to date; I have met so many new people and made so many new friends, and I have also not only learnt a lot more about other places but also about myself and where I want to go next in life.
Thanks for reading!
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Listed on Ciao since: 08/10/2002