Blog RSS

How Time Differs across Cultures

Time is something we all share… but how we perceive and manage our time differs greatly across cultures. So how can we, as expats, adapt to these different definitions of time? And is it possible to keep our own values around time and still experience harmony in a “time different” culture (or when cooperating in a diverse group)?   Have you ever been sitting on a train ready to depart, only to find that it leaves late? Have you ever rushed to get to a meeting on time and ended up waiting for the other person? Or do you tend to be the one who arrives late? If you interpret being late as a sign of disrespect, you might find yourself...

Continue reading

Our Passion for Passion

“Passion” as a word has migrated at some point from its original simple meaning of “suffering” to generally describe a deep desire for someone or something, a suffering with desire. Like most words that get used a lot, this mutated further into “passion lite”—a passion is something one likes to be engaged in, more often a delight rather than a longing and a suffering.   Mel Gibson’s film Passion, is a return to the story that made this word a key to Western culture. The Passion, i.e., the suffering and execution of Jesus of Nazareth, has set an indelible stamp on world history whether we are followers of the Nazarene or not. It is not “passion lite” or “violence lite.”...

Continue reading

From dressing up a child to building up a strong person

Original Source: Author: Dr. Phuong Mai Nguyen   Don't you think like I do? "Great pic, flying in the face of stereotypes: A little girl in blue, unisex clothes, and (gasp) aliens print of some sort. Who needs princess and fairies?" A few days ago, Facebook CEO’s daughter turned one. I couldn't help but notice a consistent message from Mark and Priscilla. Baby Maxima often wears blue (stereotypically a boy’s color), unisex style, without gender abiding prints - aliens, in this picture. When Maxima was born, she was photographed with the book “Quantum Physics for Babies.” We are all influenced by subconscious stereotypes, and in turn, project them onto our children. How often do we buy dolls, cooking and nursing...

Continue reading

Stereotypes – our best friends, our worst enemies

In the panic for security now gripping the USA as well as other nations, typing and profiling others has become as commonplace as it is noxious.  Stereotypes are both our best friends and our worst enemies. Stereotypes could be compared to the active library of your inner iTunes playing one track after another. This applies to everything you are experiencing in life, though we tend to think of stereotypes as automatic, knee-jerk judgments about people when we use the word. For example, I see heavy black clouds and my stereotype says “rain” and I go for my umbrella or raincoat before leaving the house. Or I see a group of rowdy looking teenagers on the sidewalk coming my way and I am prompted to...

Continue reading

UNSPOKEN CONVERSATIONS: Exploring dynamics of culture in hidden bias

People talk to themselves all the time. They carry on a constant inner conversation while listening to the radio, watching television or reading the paper or online. We don’t know what they say to themselves about the messages we give them. If we were talking directly to them, we could ask questions and listen “actively” to their responses. Through the media, however, we rarely know who they are personally, to say nothing of knowing what goes through their minds as they take in what me send. So, we guess. We try to construct a message that will reach them. We weigh words and images to avoid “red flags” and “red herrings.” We want them to track in the direction we...

Continue reading

.hidden { display: none; }