Intercultural Education - Short story

When you get to know a different culture you get to face a lot of differences that can brings to misunderstanding, because what you think that is good maybe is not good for another culture, and most of the times you will probably not even expect in which things you can find them, because you thing that there is only one way to think, but maybe is just the way of your culture. I will explain it with the help of a short story in a particular topic, the freedom of choice.

There is an European that goes to Kyoto, Japan. There in a bar he order a cup of green tea with sugar, after a pause the waiter says “ Sorry but dont put sugar in the green tea” , so the man ask again, and again the waiter says that Japanese people don't put sugar in the green tea. The man try to insist, “Ok, I undertand that the custom here is like that, but I would like my tea sweet”. Surprised by his insistence, the waiter goes to discuss about it with his master, and very soon the master come back to the client saying “I’m very sorry we do not have sugar”. Since the man can't have his green tea in the way he wanted he decide to order a cup of coffee, which they bring him after a while, and what are resting on the saucer? Two packets of sugar.

The failure of the man to order the tea that he wanted was not a simple misunderstanding, but because of a fundamental difference on the their ideas about choice. From the European idea, when a costumer makes a normal request he has every right to be the request satisfied. But from the Japanese idea was their duty to protect the costumer to make the wrong choice. The request of the European customer was not good for the cultural standard, and the waiters tried to do their best to make the ‘right’ choice.

This short but interesting story (and true story) explain the best how our ideas of good and bad can be just a personal prospective but not something true for everybody. The good way to face such differences is to understand that your personal way of thinking is not the only one and maybe not the best, than you can maybe decide to understand and learn from the others.

Terakhir diperbarui pada Selasa, 05 Maret 2013 12:41
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