Saturday, May 5, 2007

Intercultural Social Competence

I'm currently attending a seminar at my university called Intercultural Social Competence. This course is quite interesting by itself. But for me it's just the thing I have been looking for - or better, it has found me.

It's like all my thoughts and experiences of the past half year coming together. I can relate to many intercultural differences because I have seen them in India myself this winter.

I started to love this seminar right from the beginning. It started with a quote from Sound Of Music. That shows how people from all over the world might perceive Austria, while most don't know how old that movie is or that not all Austria is that way.

Also, today we started the course with the first 15 minutes of Lost In Translation, a great movie about people traveling to Tokyo by themselves. I saw the whole movie about a month ago and it I loved it due to my Indian memories. But even more than that, today I learned to realize all the small details the movie offers. In the first 15 minutes Bill Murray arrives in a totally strange country. He has no idea what the local behaviors are.

This course teaches us all these little differences. For example, it's amazing how cultures differ in simple things such as greeting. While in southern countries you are almost hugged an kissed by everyone, in Asian countries a handshake is all that is accepted. If you are not aware of these things, you might screw up right at the beginning of a visit to another country.

I probably will post more impressions about this course during the week or next weekend, when the second half will take place.


The Girl With Too Much Time said...

Thanks, for the comment, I appriciate that you found time to read my blog.
Cultures have always confused me. I can't seem to get my head around how people managed to seperate and do such different things despite being given the same start. It's mind blowing. It's such a beautiful and amazing yet confusing thing how such a small hand gesture can make a big impact in another country.

theowl84 said...

I've never seen it this way. But you are right, everyone is given the same start on birth. But the minute you breathe air by yourself, culture and everything around you changes you into what you are later in life. The point is, it is still up to you to accept what you have been changed into.

The Girl With Too Much Time said...

Change is scary that's one thing I know for sure. I know I have to accept it, no matter how I feel about. I just can't understand how things change so fast. You wake up one day knowing it will never be the same, it's strange.
Time and Change, two things I will never understand, or like.