culture and language

The Wave and a Lesson in Cultural Awareness

cultureHere’s an update on cultural diversity: It’s still hard to function in a multicultural environment! And it’s really hard to function in another country where you speak the language fluently, have lived before, and make things worse for yourself by thinking, “I should be better at this.”

I worked in Spain this summer, and at the beginning of my trip I met up with a colleague from the US. I told her hesitantly, “I’m struggling to navigate Spanish society.” Hesitantly, because I thought it was just me. But the look on her face when I said it told me that it’s not just me. She said, “It’s because you can’t just make a blanket statement and say, In X country people do Y.” It should be obvious, but when you’re in the middle of it, it’s not. Continue reading “The Wave and a Lesson in Cultural Awareness”

culture and language

Why Cultural Diversity is Hard

Cultural diversity is not appreciating food and music from other countries.  Appreciating food and music from other countries is food and music appreciation.

Functioning in a culturally diverse environment (your workplace, say) means accomplishing a task without being a total jerkface to others.  It’s tempting to think, Well I’ll just be polite and respectful to everyone and their culture, and everything will be great!  We’ll all go out after work to enjoy food and music and it’ll be the best time ever!

No. Continue reading “Why Cultural Diversity is Hard”