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Mar 4, 2009
How to Handle Culture Barriers
- Angelica Cruz Email this article



Each country or even small society has their own culture. Culture comprises of a tradition, beliefs, customs, religions, events, personality that personifies their difference with others. Culture is rich, and often practiced even back on our ancient years. Respecting oneís culture is important, particularly if you are new member of their society or country. If their culture is new to you, learn to adapt. Besides, their culture is already established even before you were born.


To know how you will prepare yourself on your new environment, here are partial list of culture in some countries:


∑         Kingdom of Saudi Arabia- Saudi Arabia, as it commonly known has strong faith with their religion Islam, which also plays a major role on how they govern their country. Saudi Arabia maintains a strict policy over its people. Women are not allowed to mingle with men in public places. They also have strict policies over entertainment. There are no cinemas or theaters around the country except for IMAX in Dhahran and Ras Tanura , and that the films shown are strictly chosen.  Practicing your own religion aside on Islam is highly punishable under their law. The men and women of Saudi Arabia wear clothes that cover the 80% of their body. Women wear abaya whenever they are in public while men wear thawb and keffiyeh, these clothing suits the hot weather in the country. A Muslim man is allowed to marry more than one woman, as long as he can sustain financial support to his families.


∑         Federal State of Germany- Germans are very religious people, Christianity is the major religion in Germany, second is Islam.  However, donít be shock if you see two homosexuals walking hand in hand in the prominent cities of Germany, same sex marriages and adaptation of children via same sex couple are legal in Germany.


∑         The Netherlands- People in Netherlands enjoy freedom. They love their liberty to do different things. If you hate nudity, drugs and all that kind then you have to make a huge effort to adjust in their customs. Although Dutch are now open to the idea that their love for fun has gone too far, most people here (and foreign tourists) enjoy the freedom of sex and drugs. Particularly in Amsterdam, people enjoy the perks in Red District. The Red District of Amsterdam is home of the night clubs, bars (with pot session services) and other illegal things that you knew in your country but not in theirs.


∑         Brunei Darussalam- All kinds of alcoholic drinks are banned in Brunei that lead to forced closure of all night clubs and bars in the country. Islam is the major religion in Brunei, and like Saudi Arabia, some of their laws are based on their religion. Kissing in public is considered taboo in Brunei. Never be late when a Muslim invited you to a party, you must come 20 minute advance or on time. Never beckon at someone using only your index finger, it is considered impolite. Women are not allowed to expose any of their body except their face and hands. Eating in public places is also considered impolite and disrespectful.


∑         South Africa- Africans are known for their rich culture. They embrace dancing, singing, and arts. They are also predominantly Christians, 79.7% of its population believe and praise God. However, South Africa is not that healthy for expatriates in terms of criminal rates in the country. According to the United Nations, South Africa is ranked 2nd on murder and 1st on assaults and rape per capita.


One of the must do of foreign workers and immigrants is to learn to adjust on the culture of their new environment. Some take it easy, especially for those who have the personality of a chameleon that can easily adapt on the environment that he/she belongs. However, for those who are not used to be away from home and was stuck to the tradition of the country that he/she originally belongs, adjustment could be difficult. Respecting someoneís beliefs is the best thing to do when you are not in your own country, if you learn how to respect then getting along with their culture would be easy.

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Laura - Wow! These are so great!! Love them each - China
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