Nowadays, the world’s development requires that many things begin to globalize. Globalization as the inexorable integration of markets, capital, nation-states, and technologies in ways that allow individuals, groups, corporations, and countries to reach around the world farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper than ever before. (Thomas, 2000)
The world today is characterized by a growing number of contacts which results in communication between people with different cultural background. In these circumstances, the communication in cross-domain, inter-ethnic and inter-cultural exchanges between the economic and social intercourse is growing day by day, which provides us many opportunities to contact and communicate with westerners. This is a good thing to us Chinese. However, different nations hold different cultures. For instance, “full moon” symbolizes jubilation and reunion in China, and “a bright moon in the sky” makes people feel quiet and at leisure. Cultures are quite different from one country to another.
The culture of a country includes lots of things such as religion, public behavior, total life style, political structure of the society, history of the country (but only as it reflects cultural mind-sets, or the manner in which its members think, feel, and act; not a detailed history), social class structure, food and eating behavior, leisure pursuits and interests and so many factors else. (Martin, 2001)
Under I will explain the impact of cultural differences in my interactions with others especially when dealing my classmates and friends from different cultural backgrounds.
1) How communicating with someone from another culture was different?
When I first came to Singapore, it was very difficult for me because I didn’t speak that good of English when I first got there, so as far as having a relationship with my classmates and roommates that was hard. But I’d like to communicate with foreigner, because I can practice my English and I wish that I can make friends with foreigner students.
In my student hostel, there were people from all over the world like Thailand, China, U.S, Indonesia, and even France or South Korea. We have different language and different cultural background. So we must know some effective ways to communicating with other students. My experience tell me that how to communicating with someone from another culture was different.
1. Usually I speak in a clear voice, minimizing an accent if possible. Someone from a different culture may have limited communication skills in your native language. 2. Remain patient when someone from a different culture that has trouble understanding you. Repeat your message paraphrasing as needed to get the meaning across. 3. Develop active listening skills to understand what is being said. Allow them to express their thoughts before responding; focus on what they are trying to express without making judgments about their character or personality. 4. Pay attention to nonverbal communication. Hand gestures, facial expressions, posture and personal space all convey different meanings across cultures. Understand the culture of the person you're dealing with to adjust nonverbal interactions.
Western concept of “time is money” is deep-rooted, they usually tie the time concept to the money. So they treasure time very much, they will work out a very elaborate arrange and plan before putting it into practice. They have a good habit to have a date on time.
I had a mentor from UK when I was in diploma. Once, after shopping in nearby Vivo City, acting on the spur of the moment, I wanted to visit him at his home. I expected him to be delighted upon seeing my face, no one he was angry. Then he told to me:” in west, when you want to call on someone, you should have a call with him or send him a notice in advance, including purpose, time and place. Only when he accepts your request, can you go and visit him.”...
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