The Null Device
Never be rude to an Arab...
Britain's tourist board has published a list of tips on cross-cultural communication
, intended to defuse any potential misunderstandings when dealing with visitors or hosts from different cultures:
Do not be alarmed if South Africans announce that they were held up by robots.
To a South African the word robot means traffic lights.
Do not take offence if an Australian or a New Zealander makes a joke about ‘’Poms.’’
It is more of a friendly endearment than an intended insult.
Avoid saying ‘’thank you’’ to a Chinese compliment.
Instead, politely deny a compliment to show humility. If you compliment a Chinese person, expect a denial in reply. The Chinese are famous for communicating by “Saying it without saying it.” You will have to learn to read between the lines. Use only black and white materials for presentations, as colours have significant meanings in Chinese culture.
Be tolerant if Indians at first seem impolite, noisy and impatient. This is partly the result of living in chaotic cities and environments. They usually appreciate orderliness when they see it.
Not to mention common-sense advice, such as avoiding the topics of poverty or illegal migration with Mexicans, not calling Canadians "Americans", and not offering bacon or wine to Arab guests. (Presumably these are today's equivalent of "don't mention the war".)
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