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REVIEW OF VARIOUS CULTURES IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES

Created by: Name: Waluyo Janwar Putra SID: 20913017 Subject: Cross Cultural Understanding

Department of English Language Training Teacher Training and Education Faculty Muhammadiyah University of Kendari Kendari 2011

A. England Greetings Man greeting Man - Men shake hands when greeting one another and usually throw in a "How do you do." Handshakes are usually on the lighter side and don't linger that much Woman greeting Woman- At a first meeting, women generally shake hands. Man greeting Woman- At a first meeting a regular handshake will do. Women tend to extend their hand first. Communication Style Being polite is highly valued. Expect a lot of "please" and "thank you" and "sorry". The English tend to be more indirect than overly direct. Being too blunt may be considered impolite in many situations. Pay attention to tone of voice and facial expression as it may be an indication of what is really being conveyed. Personal Space & Touching The English tend to keep about an 2-3 feet between them while speaking. Touching is usually kept to a minimum. Family members are more relaxed and familiar with each other, so touching of the arms, elbows, or hands is acceptable. However in a business environment, touching is very minimal and personal space is respected much more than in a family setting. Meetings When doing business direct questions often receive evasive responses. Arriving on time for a meeting is important. Business meetings tend to be structured but not too formal, beginning and ending with a bit of small talk. Gift Giving Gifts are not usually exchanged at a first meeting. If invited to an English household, it is appropriate to bring flowers (avoid white lilies as they are reserved for funerals), good wine, liquor, or chocolates. Make sure that gifts are nicely wrapped. Eye Contact Direct eye contact is generally maintained during conversations, but not to the point of staring. Looking away when an elder is speaking is usually viewed as disrespectful. Taboos Cutting in line or breaking the "queue" is not accepted. Loud talking and shouting in public is considered bad form.

B. USA American Society and Culture Diversity America is ultimately a nation of immigrants and as a result is a cultural mish-mash in every sense of the word. Not only is the country populated by people from foreign countries but all Americans in one way or another trace their ancestry back to another culture, whether Irish, German, Italian or Scottish. Looking around any major city one will notice the melting-pot that it is. Informal and Friendly Most people who come to the United States may already know a few things about the people through TV. Although this is of course a skewed reality some of the stereotypes are true, especially American friendliness and informality. People tend to not wait to be introduced, will begin to speak with strangers as they stand in a queue, sit next to each other at an event, etc. Visitors can often be surprised when people are so informal to the point of being very direct or even rude. Time is Money The country that coined the phrase obviously lives the phrase. In America, time is a very important commodity. People 'save' time and 'spend' time as if it were money in the bank. Americans ascribe personality characteristics and values based on how people use time. For example, people who are on-time are considered to be good people, reliable people who others can count on. The Family The family unit is generally considered the nuclear family, and is typically small (with exceptions among certain ethnic groups). Extended family relatives live in their own homes, often at great distances from their children. Individualism is prized, and this is reflected in the family unit. People are proud of their individual accomplishments, initiative and success, and may, or may not, share those sources of pride with their elders. Customs and Etiquette Meeting and Greeting

Greetings are casual. A handshake, a smile, and a 'hello' are all that is needed. Smile!

Use first names, and be sure to introduce everyone to each other.

Gift Giving Etiquette


In general, Americans give gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and major holidays, such as Christmas. A gift can be as simple as a card and personal note to something more elaborate for a person with whom you are close. Gift giving is not an elaborate event, except at Christmas. When invited to someone's home for dinner, it is polite to bring a small box of good chocolates, a bottle of wine, a potted plant or flowers for the hostess. Gifts are normally opened when received.

Taboos Race is a sensitive subject throughout the country. To avoid offending anyone refer to Americans of different ethnicities as such: African American, Italian American, Asian American, etc. Spitting is usually unacceptable in public settings. If you have to spit, it's best to use a tissue and then throw it away.

C. Australia Australian Society & Culture Aussie Modesty a. Australians are very down to earth and always mindful of not giving the impression that they think they are better than anyone else. b. They value authenticity, sincerity, and loathe pretentiousness. c. Australians prefer people who are modest, humble, self- deprecating and with a sense of humour. d. They do not draw attention to their academic or other achievements and tend to distrust people who do. e. They often downplay their own success, which may make them appear not to be achievement-oriented. Mates a. Australians place a high value on relationships. b. With a relatively small population, it is important to get along with everyone, since you never know when your paths may cross again. c. This leads to a win-win negotiating style, since having everyone come away with positive feelings helps facilitate future business dealings.

A Multi-Cultural Society a. The initial population of Australia was made up of Aborigines and people of British and Irish descent. b. After World War II there was heavy migration from Europe, especially from Greece, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Yugoslavia, Lebanon, and Turkey. c. This was in response to the Australian policy of proactively trying to attract immigrants to boost the population and work force. d. In the last thirty years, Australia has liberalized its immigration policy and opened its borders to South East Asia. e. This has caused a real shift in self-perception as Aussies begin to re-define themselves as a multi-cultural and multi-faith society rather then the old homogenous, white, AngloSaxon, Protestant nation. Australian Etiquette & Customs Meeting Etiquette a. Australians are not very formal so greetings are casual and relaxed. b. A handshake and smile suffices. c. While an Australian may say, 'G'day' or 'G'day, mate', this may sound patronizing from a foreigner. Visitors should simply say, 'Hello' or 'Hello, how are you? d. Aussies prefer to use first names, even at the initial meeting. Greetings Men greeting Men A firm handshake is common in formal and business situations. A simple nod of acknowledgment works in less formal situations. Women greeting Women A handshake is common in formal and business situations. A nod of acknowledgment is common in less formal situations and between good friends and family a single kiss on the cheek tends to be the norm. Greetings between Men and Women A handshake tends to be the norm for formal and business situations. A nod of acknowledgment is common in less formal situations and between good friends and family a single kiss on the cheek tends to be the norm. Gift Giving Etiquette a. Small gifts are commonly exchanged with family members, close friends, and neighbors on birthdays and Christmas. b. Trades people such as sanitation workers may be given a small amount of cash, or more likely, a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer! c. If invited to someone's home for dinner, it is polite to bring a box of chocolates or flowers to the hostess. A good quality bottle of wine is always appreciated. d. Gifts are opened when received.

Communication Style Australians are known to be very direct and to the point. Honesty is appreciated and expected. Humor plays a big role in communication. In general, people like teasing and joking during conversation. Arrogance is looked down upon heavily. Its best to stay humble and modest. Taboos Extending the middle finger is rude. Sexist and/or racist language is also highly disdained.

D. Indonesia Indonesian Society & Culture Diversity Indonesia is a hugely diverse nation. It is made up of over 17,500 islands (6,000 of which are inhabited) which are home to over 300 ethnic groups. Each province has its own language, ethnic make-up, religions and history. Most people will define themselves locally before nationally. In addition there are many cultural influences stemming back from difference in heritage. Indonesians are a mix of Chinese, European, Indian, and Malay. Although Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world it also has a large number of Christian Protestants, Catholics, Hindus and Buddhists. This great diversity has needed a great deal of attention from the government to maintain a cohesion. As a result the national motto is "Unity in Diversity", the language has been standardized and a national philosophy has been devised know as "Pancasila" which stresses universal justice for all Indonesians. Group Thinking Due to the diverse nature of Indonesian society there exists a strong pull towards the group, whether family, village or island. People will define themselves according to their ethnic gourp, family and place of birth. The family is still very traditional in structure. Family members have clearly defined roles and a great sense of interdependence. Hierarchy a. b. c. d. As with most group orientated cultures, hierarchy plays a great role in Indonesian culture. Hierarchical relationships are respected, emphasized and maintained. Respect is usually shown to those with status, power, position, and age. This can be seen in both the village and the office where the most senior is expected to make group decisions. e. Superiors are often called "bapak" or "ibu", which means the equivalent of father or mother, sir or madam.

f. Although those higher up the hierarchy make decisions Indonesians are advocates of group discussion and consensus. These ties back to the idea of maintaining strong group cohesiveness and harmonious relationships. Face a. Due to the need to maintain group harmony the concept of 'face' is important to understand. b. In Indonesia the concept is about avoiding the cause of shame ("malu"). c. Consequently, people are very careful how they interact and speak. d. Although a foreigner can not be expected to understand the nuances of the concept it is crucial to keep an eye on ones behavior. e. One should never ridicule, shout at or offend anyone. Imperfections should always be hidden and addresses privately. Similarly blame should never be aimed at any individual/group publicly. f. One manifestation of the concept of face/shame is that Indonesians communicate quite indirectly, i.e. they would never wish to cause anyone shame by giving them a negative answer so would phrase it a way where you would be expected to realize what they truly want to say. g. Bahasa Indonesian actually has 12 ways of saying "No" and several other ways of saying "Yes" when the actual meaning is "No" !! General Etiquette Meeting and Greeting a. Greetings can be rather formal as they are meant to show respect. b. A handshake is the most common greeting accompanied with the word "Selamat". c. Many Indonesians may give a slight bow or place their hands on their heart after shaking your hand. d. If you are being introduced to several people, always start with the eldest or most senior person first. e. Titles are important in Indonesia as they signify status. If you know of any titles ensure you use them in conjunction with the name. f. Some Indonesians only have one name, although it is becoming more common for people to have a first name and a surname, especially in the middle class. g. Many Indonesians, especially those from Java, may have had an extremely long name, which was shortened into a sort of nickname for everyday conversation. h. There are several ethnic groups in Indonesia. Most have adopted Indonesian names over the years, while some retain the naming conventions of their ethnicity.

Gift Giving Etiquette Gift giving etiquette for ethnic Malays / Muslims: a. In Islam alcohol is forbidden. Only give alcohol if you know the recipient will appreciate it. b. Any food substance should be "halal" - things that are not halal include anything with alcoholic ingredients or anything with pork derivatives such as gelatin. Halal meat means the animal has been slaughtered according to Islamic principles. c. Offer gifts with the right hand only. d. Gifts are not opened when received. E. Saudi Arabia Saudi Society & Culture Islam Islam is practiced by all Saudis and governs their personal, political, economic and legal lives. Islam was born in Saudi Arabia and thus is visited by millions of Muslims every year. The Prophet Muhammad is seen as the last of God's emissaries (following in the footsteps of Jesus, Moses, Abraham, etc) to bring revelation to mankind. He was distinguished with bringing a message for the whole of mankind, rather than just to a certain peoples. As Moses brought the Torah and Jesus the Bible, Muhammad brought the last book, the Quran. The Quran and the actions of the Prophet (the Sunnah) are used as the basis for all guidance in the religion. Among certain obligations for Muslims are to pray five times a day - at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening. The exact time is listed in the local newspaper each day. Friday is the Muslim holy day. Everything is closed. Many companies also close on Thursday, making the weekend Thursday and Friday. During the holy month of Ramadan all Muslims must fast from dawn to dusk and are only permitted to work six hours per day. Fasting includes no eating, drinking, cigarette smoking, or gum chewing. Expatriates are not required to fast; however, they must not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum in public. Each night at sunset, families and friends gather together to celebrate the breaking of the fast (iftar). The festivities often continue well into the night. In general, things happen more slowly during Ramadan. Many businesses operate on a reduced schedule. Shops may be open and closed at unusual times.

Family Values a. The family and tribe are the basis of the social structure. b. As is seen in their naming conventions, Saudis are cognizant of their heritage, their clan, and their extended family, as well as their nuclear family. c. Saudis take their responsibilities to their family quite seriously. d. Families tend to be large and the extended family is quite close. e. The individual derives a social network and assistance in times of need from the family. Etiquette and Customs Meeting Etiquette a. Men shake hands. Good friends may greet each other with a handshake and a kiss on each cheek. b. Women generally hug and kiss close friends. c. Men and women would not greet each other in public I from outside the family. d. When Saudis greet each other they take their time and converse about general things. Gift Giving Etiquette a. If you are invited to a Saudi's house bring something small as a thank you. b. Flowers do not make good gifts from a man, although a woman could give them to her hostess. c. Never give alcohol. Alcohol is haram (prohibited) in Islamic law. d. Gifts are not opened when received