Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fresh Eyes for New Cultures

A friend of mine went to Dominican Republic for a visit. When asked upon his return what he thought of the country, he said, "It was a beautiful country, but there were a lot of foreigners there." It made me wanna say,  "Uh. Yeah. YOU were one of the foreigners, dude."

An immature and uninformed person may dismiss the meaning-making practices of other cultures as "strange," without bothering to examine them as clues to understanding that culture. What a loss of learning opportunities. View the TED Talk by Derek Sivers: "Weird, or just different?" and contemplate your own cross-cultural experience. Derek Sivers: Weird, or just different? | Video on

What practices or customs have you encountered that seemed "weird" to you? What did these practices reveal to you about the culture? Feel free to post your insights throughout the term.