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How to be Cross-Culturally Sensitive

Posted on 6/21/2006 in Other

As I have experienced in many different countries, it is very easy to be culturally insensitive.

Every country and culture seems to have different things that are acceptable and not-acceptable. My wife was at an evangelism training seminar on Saturday and was told that to look an Aboriginal Australian in the eye was actually culturally insensitive and means that you are disrespecting them. This is opposite of what most "western nations" perceive as being acceptable, but is probably not commonly known, even by most white Australians.

There are a few other keys to being culturally sensitive in various different countries over at 43 Folders: Intl. Business: How not to be the “ugly American”. It's a good read.

Prior to all of our YWAM DTS staff and students going on outreach we always take time to orientate them to the nation that they will be heading over to. Some of that training always includes culture sensitivity. This can include things like not showing the soles of your feet to people in Thailand, the little finger is insulting in Thailand (like the middle finger in N. America and Australia), etc. Hopefully be trying to educate our YWAM DTS students prior to heading over there we can break down some of the possible barriers to developing relationships when they get there.

Article Via: Lifehacker: Fit in with the locals all over the world
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Soraya on 6/21/2006
that was an interesting post. I'm glad you brought up this topic of cultural variances across the globe. We need to learn the ways of different nations in order to understand them better and respect them. I myself was not aware of the fact that it was disrespectful to stare a native in the eye. Thanks for sharing this info
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