Up to this point, I have written many articles about culture, but I have never defined what culture is. In this article I will concentrate on two points. First, I will explain the definition of culture in my own opinion. Second, I will explain why memorizing facts about culture is just not enough. Finally, I will suggest how you can use articles on this site more effectively.
Well, according to dictionary.com, culture can be defined as "the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group." With that in mind, if we understand culture, then we can make assumptions about the meaning of other people's actions, behavior or thinking.
I have to emphasis on the point of assumption. We can only assume how other people in other cultures will behave. Meaning that even after you understand a culture, you will not be 100% correct in your assumptions or in how you tailor your behavior according to the culture as you try to fit in.
You may ask, "Dat, if it can't help me much, why should I waste my time reading your articles?" Myself, I have to admit I do not have enough knowledge to call myself an expert in culture. As a matter of fact, some of you reading this article may have more education and knowledge than I ever could reach. What I want to do is to provide passion for the subject and to raise your cultural awareness.
Let me give you an example,
Let's say you have just bought a car. What would you want it to be? How about a 2009 Nissan Sentra and the color is white. After driving the car for couple of days, what do you see? For myself, I start to wonder why there are so many other Sentras on the street. When I think about this I realize that it is not that the number of Sentras on the street has increased, but just that I have become more aware of all the Sentras while driving.
When you are aware of something, you tend pick up on it a little more easily than normal. Does that make sense?
What are the benefits of raising awareness? For one, you do not have to memorize every "do and don't" related to the customs of a country, which is impossible. As you already know or will find out, the articles on this site are long and there are a couple of articles well over 3000 words. I would not recommend that you try to memorize these articles. But if you can raise your awareness, you will become more sensitive to all the little details around you.
Once you have noticed the little things around you, then combine your awareness with what you have read and learned. You will find that it is easier to react to different scenarios more naturally.
How to raise your awareness? I would like to demonstrate it with a fun story. Well, sort of funny.
There was an American man in love with an Asian woman; however, she did not feel the same. He tried to woo her the best that he knew how, but he had one problem -- he lived too far away from her. So each day he wrote a love letter and sent it to her house. One month passed; two months passed, and before you know it one year had passed. Finally, she agreed to get married; however, she agreed to marry the mailman. Yes, that's right the mailman.
Because of the letters, the mailman had to show up at her door every day of the week for a year. First, they only said hello, after that a little bit of conversation, and then after a little while longer they went out.
What is the point of this story? The more often you are exposed to a subject the more awareness you will have for that subject. This means you should come back to this website more often (another successful attempt to promote the website, hehe).
It looks like I have become a Chinese businessman, making a point with an off-topic story (hehe). If you don't know what I am talking about, you should check out doing business in China.
Thank you for joining me; if you have not heard the news, this website is ranked in the top 1% on the Internet. Yes, I'm bragging I know. From where I am and wherever you are, have a good night and good luck everybody. Feel free to contact me.