Cultural differences?

Old Mar 8th, 2003, 04:05 PM
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Cultural differences?

In your travels, what cultural differences have you experienced among people? e.g. I want to be p.c., Germans are thrifty, Italians emotional, etc. I would love to hear your opinions because there are differences, I believe, and that is the beauty of travel...we are different and that is fine.
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 08:05 PM
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There are great differences among people; I'm not sure they necessarily fall along nationality lines; to look at cultures this way leads to simplistic stereotypes.
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 08:11 PM
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I go along with grandmere; the food and dress may differ, as the language but underneath it all we are all the same. Some honest, some cheat, some love, some hate, some always happy, some miserable some trouble makers, some peace makers.
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Old Mar 9th, 2003, 03:30 AM
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I agree that people are different but the same among countries. But there are real differences on etiqettes and social behaviors.

For instance, people from same countries are more reserved than others;the body distances are different;whether eye contact is acceptable;loud voice means happy or angry;certain topic mentionable; upon being invited for meal,whether is impolite/polite to accept...etc.

Travelling through different continents,it is an nedless challenge to learn.
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Old Mar 9th, 2003, 03:56 AM
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OK, I'll bite -- the cultural characteristics I've noticed have to do with norms for behavior -- the social conventions about how to express yourself. But all of these are just general agreements about what's acceptable, I don't believe they're inbred.

For instance, in some cultures loud belching is considered a compliment to the chef, whereas in others it's rude. But I bet that in all cultures everyone actually belches about the same amount! (On second thought, local cuisine might be a complicating factor.)

My own experience with "emotional Italians" backs this up, though it's US-based. As an Italian-American who married into an Irish-American family, I find that the Irish folks FEEL the same emotions, they just don't have cultural permission to let it all hang out. (And this is after a couple of generations over here!) When I first met them, my future husband had to have a little talk with me about toning it down, since my normal magnitude of emotional expression alarmed them, since it was at a level that they would resort to only under extreme distress.

So I guess I'm just agreeing with the above posters who commented that this stuff is basically etiquette (i..e, voluntary) and underneath people vary about hte same.

P.S. My Italian-American dad is the "thriftiest" (i.e., cheapest) person I've ever met.
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