Intercultural … Turnaround

Some weeks ago, I penned some words on intercultural nonsense.
I took some of intercultural hurdles though my opinion about this topic has hardly changed.
And here are some lessons.

Lesson 1: consider your face in terms of mimics if you approach an Asian guy since some of them may get offended easily. Europeans may have a tendency to ignore facial expressions unless they are bold in order to emphasize the tone, voice, and statements. Asians seem to read a major portion of your message from your face.

Lesson 2: Asians seem to close up very easily if they think they cannot get along with you. “They do not care”, which is – from a European angle – a polite circumscription of very-hard-to-tackle ignorance. Again, it’s always about the other guy and both sides need to stay open rather than waiting for the first incident as a general excuse the blame game.

Lesson 3: How to break the cycle and stop the downward spiral when words are not available anymore? To be honest, I do not know. In my case, I used the Chinese Stratagem “Steal any passing goat” until I could “remove the ladder when the enemy has ascended to the roof”, which enabled me to “kill with a borrowed knife“. In other words, coerce others to act in your favour so that they catch the goat for you. But there may be other, more tactful approaches available.

In brief, Europeans, since you cannot erase your face, be aware that it may tell things you never want to express. Please keep patient with your Asian hosts and ask yourself whether it’s really worth to start a quarrel.

Asians, it’s not always about who has hurt your values and your dignity. It’s about different conclusions, expectations, and implied intentions.

But here we are, a general statement about learning rather than intercultural schematics.


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