Top 10 Cultural Differences that Can Cause Embarrassment, Misunderstanding and Even TroublesMetal_Treasure In a globalized world we need to know more about cultural differences because we communicate with people of completely different cultural origins - at school, at work, on vacation, on the street, and so on. To avoid troubles, keep in mind the significant cultural differences on this list.
While making this list I laughed hard at some possible embarrassing situations caused by cultural differences.
The Top Ten
It can also mean white power in the US by idiots (Maddox121 - Anonymous until Canada Day)
This is a great list. I just learned something from it today. - JoeBoi
Great list M_T! I definitely learned a few things. - THC13
Imagine people from these countries talking in English AND using that hand gesture, LOL.
Lawyer's office. American lawyer: What did you get from your ex-husband?
French lady: 👌
Japanese apprentice: You got only money? And nothing from his castles and vineyards?! - Metal_Treasure
I had no space in the item title for this part: In Ghana, Africa, if a young child looks an adult in the eye, it is considered an act of defiance. - Metal_Treasure
I am Asian and I didn’t even know this. LOL
I keep avoiding eye contact ‘cause making eye contact makes me uncomfortable. - Misfire
In a world of multinational companies this cultural difference can create tense situations: an American employee who addresses a Japanese executive too casually can get into trouble, whereas Japanese employees may seem too subservient or aloof to their American co-workers. - Metal_Treasure
It's useful to know that the subjective perception of personal space and privacy varies greatly - you just don't have to stand too close to people from some countries and vice versa: Latin Americans may think you don't like them if you stand too far from them. In Brazil, business acquaintances stand close to build trust, so backing away may be construed as a rebuff. - Metal_Treasure
I had no space in the item title for this: In some countries, winking after saying something, may mean "I was joking". - Metal_Treasure
As the business with China expands...learn to accept business cards with both hands if you badly want a contract or the job. - Metal_Treasure
It's a big "NO" to show power or pride with hands on the hips in Argentina, or to Argentinians elsewhere in the world. Because for them this would be a challenge, like "I'm angry and I'm ready to fight with you". - Metal_Treasure
Weird things, dude - BorisRule
Don't get mad at that Polynesian kid standing next to the door of your hotel - he's greeting you! - Metal_Treasure
Another point to note Maori (a Polynesian subcultures) carved statues very frequently have their tongues out. However the tongue out is not always a greeting in Maori culture but can be an aggressive gesture thus it is often invoked in a haka (war dance).
REALLY? I had no idea! Thanks for telling me! Now I won’t have to get offended if a Polynesian sticks their tongue out at me😂
Not all parts in Asia are like this... I keep touching children’s heads and nobody stopped me. - Misfire
I can picture how business negotiations between Greek and Egyptian businessmen may look like. LOL. - Metal_Treasure
Well saying that tons of Greeks lived in Egypt or still do live Egypt it must have been difficult. - 2storm
This is an example for communication misunderstandings from my coursebook.
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2. In most Western countries, eye contact is a sign of listening, truth and understanding. In Latin and North America eye contact also conveys equality among individuals. But in many Asian cultures, avoiding eye contact is a sign of respect.
3. In the United States, an employee disagreement with the employer / supervisor is more tolerable than in Japan. In Japan, an employee is unlikely to object against, or challenge a supervisor.