Monday, October 1, 2012

Updated...this week

  • žPerusal of Cultural Crossing Site 10/4/12 (Post your findings here on blog)
    • Choose a country that is unfamiliar to you
    • Possibly a country that you have thought about visiting
  •  Read the Perception Chapter by Monday 10/8/12
  • žField Study:  Body Language 10/10/12
  • žPaired Essays 
    •  —Formatting; Partners; Things to think about for deadline on 10/22/12 
    • Topic Choices:
  •  1.  How does language affect the way we see things?  Apply this to two areas of knowledge.

    2.  Compare and contrast knowledge which can be expressed in words/symbols with knowledge that cannot be expressed in this way.  Consider CAS and one or more areas of knowledge.

    3.  The vocabulary we have does more than communicate our knowledge; it shapes what we can know.  Evaluate this claim with reference to different areas of knowledge.


  1. Traje'

    The website is very colorful and catches your attention.
    You can select any country in the world from the drop down list and it will give you information on that country like the location, the government, religion and ethnic groups.
    There are other links you can click on in order to find out more info like what that country consider disrespectful, the type of clothes they wear. Students and there class rules.
    This is a very organized site and will come very useful to us with this essay coming up.

  2. I chose TRINIDAD & TOBAGO


  3. This is Junior Post:
    The website had something for everybody. From the very basics as everyday greeting to how to behavior in a meeting. First off I began by looking up Cameroon, it was quite interesting. Their guidelines were so general, however what they did get right was the class room rules. They got the grading system correct. They French system from 0-20. Next I choose Saudi Arabia, the country I am going to on my honeymoon. I knew it was a Muslim country but I was surprise that there were no minor religious groups. Next was the socializing, drinking is not legal and only makes can smoke. Dating is not allowed and serious consequence can result from doing so. Although it happens, however what I found sad was that for a beautiful country with beautiful women they sure treat their women as second class citizens. Their personal space is a little close to my liking. The website was informative however it lack the real socializing aspect. Like everyday fashion, music, foods and famous tv shows. These things shows us how the people really live. Overall, this is a good site.

  4. Nathaniel

    The country I chose was Italy because it's a country that I would love to eventually visit. I found it interesting at a arm length is the preferable length when talking to an Italian because when I think of Italians I think of loud people that like to touch. I agreed and understood why it said that many Italians are animated and dramatic. When I read that, I remembered watching Jersey Shore and seeing how animated Pauly D and Vinny always act and I now can see why. I now know that animation and over acting is apart of their culture in a way. I really found this cite interesting because it allows me take a look at how other countries view things that us Americans may not agree with. For instance, after I finished researching Italy, I wanted to take a look at Columbia and saw that they like to be close to each other while talking while here in America, I for one, am not use to that and I don't want someone too close to me.This cite allow me to be open-minded because I am learning something different about different countries in the world.

  5. A country that is unfamiliar to me is Anguilla located in the Caribbean. I would love to visit this country and expand my horizons of the beauty of the Caribbean apart from my homeland the Dominican Republic.


  6. Cultural Crossing Site Assignment

    The country I would like to visit is Greece because of Greek Mythology, and it was the first place the Olympics took place; there are lots of sites to see.
    -Greetings: Kiss on the cheek and a light handshake (if it is the first time meeting). This is done between the same and the opposite gender.
    -Communication: Speak loudly and with a lot of emotion. Someone unfamiliar with the culture would perceive them as eccentric and extremely loud people because in America it’s not a common thing for someone to speak loudly unless there is an argument.
    -Personal Space & Touching: Stand really close to each other, no concept of personal space like American culture, and public display of affection. This reminds me of when Romance said she doesn’t like people invading her space, and in Greece they love getting up close to a person. They seem like a very warm, happy people.
    -Eye contact: Sign of respect to look someone in the eye. This is similar to what people in America do and think.
    -Gestures: Thumbs down is disrespectful, thumb between index & middle is obscene and 5 fingers and palm outward is offensive and disrespectful. In America thumbs down means you aren’t very well or something isn’t going right, but in Greece it is considered disrespectful.
    I’ve learned some things that will help me in a future trip to Greece. It seems to me that the people of Greece are very warm because they greet each other in a welcoming fashion and they love to show their affection, which by others it could be a sign of disrespect if their space is invaded or they are touched in that sort of fashion. I found this website to be quite interesting.

    ~Linda E.~

  7. As I visited the Culture Crossing website, I discovered the immense amount of countries that they provided cultural information about. I was hoping to find the nation of Kosovo, but it wasn't on the website. One country that caught my eye was the nation of Cyprus, located Europe. I found it interesting how the website included many cultural references that usual informative sources lack, such as taboos. However, I noticed in trying to explore countries that weren't as well-known, certain information wasn't available.

    a) The official language is Spanish and English.
    b) About 85% of the population are Roman Catholic and the rest are protestants and other
    c) majority of the people are white(mostly Spanish origin).
    d)Puerto Ricans tend to communicate loud and direct, they tend to talk very quickly and they use their hands a lot when talking.
    e) Direct eye contact while talking to someone shows respect and interest.
    f)They tend to be late in both business and social situations. They place more emphasis on relationships other than strict set schedules.
    g)They value equality and work opportunities for women but earnings may still be lower for them. Most families are Dual income
    h)People call each other by extending an arm and making a scratching motion with their fingers. They point by puckering their lips to the direction of the person or what they are referring to. Wrinkling or scrunching up of your nose usually means "huh" or "what"?
    i)The legal drinking age is eighteen.
    j) Traditional wear for men is a guayabera shirt. The women are usually made up with heels on.
    k) professional title is senor for Mr., senora for Mrs. or senorita for miss.
    l) It is considered acceptable to interrupt someone who is speaking.
    m) They tend to be animated when negotiating.
    - Jayeon-

  9. The country I chose was Honduras. I chose this country because it is a place that I've always wanted to visit, but I never knew anything about it, other than its location.
    Honduras is a small country in Central America, and is surrounded by Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Here are some interesting facts about Honduras:

    •Democratic Constitutional Republic is the form of Government.
    •The official Honduran language is Spanish.
    •97% of the population is of the Roman Catholic religion, and 3% is Protestant.
    •The major ethnicities are Mestizo (90%), Amerindian (7%), black (2%), and white (1%).
    •Communication: Most people have a tendency to to communicate indirectly. (“For example, if you ask someone a question, their answer may not only depend on the objective reality but also on the nature of the question, social circumstances, their relationship to you, etc.”). People avoid saying “I don't know" because they don't want to seem unfriendly and/or unhelpful. Most times they will tell you what you'd most like to hear. Eye contact depends on social status.
    •Personal space and touching: This is no big deal to Hondurans! Although they prefer to stand less than arm’s length apart, they don’t mind standing closer to friends or family. In public transportation, Hondurans are very close together (somewhat crammed) without personal space. And most importantly, they like being “touchy”, as we call it. They engage in touching during conversations.
    •Time is important, but not rushed. Hondurans value punctuality, but it business and social situations, they take whatever time they need to finish instead of worrying about finishing within a particular time.
    •Gender roles: Men in most situations have power and authority, and women run the household. Some Honduran men tend to be sexist and often make of comments that most Honduran women do not mind.
    •When pointing, Hondurans turn their head and purse out their lips in the direction of the object they’re pointing at.
    •Don’t throw or toss things to a Honduran! They see it as a gesture set aside or animals (throwing scraps). Just hand the object to them!
    •Possession of illegal drugs is enforced, and the legal drinking age of 21 is not heavily enforced. Marijuana is considered dangerous, yet the use of cocaine is socially accepted.
    •Hondurans LOVE to talk!
    •If invited to a Honduran home, it is appropriate to bring a fine bottle of wine or good quality candy.
    •Lecture is the most common way of teaching in Honduras.
    •Shorts and flip flops for a University student is looked down upon. They usually dress well.
    •Smoking and drinking tend to be more acceptable for men than women.
    •Hondurans love to dance!
    •High crime rates in the cities.
    •Women rarely ask men out.
    •AIDS is very prevalent.


  10. I really like the site because it shows you some of the social cues that a country may have. The country that I thought about visiting was Costa Rica because it a country filled with lot's of beautiful sites and nice sunsets. I like how the site shows how people greet each other in their country. For example Costa Rica greets through hugs, kisses, and handshakes. I was also able to see on the site that it shows the taboos of each country because it shows what not to do in another person's country. Like in Costa Rica you can't put your thumb in between your middle finger and index finger because it is a obscene gesture. The site also shows you how to take care of business and how to socialize with other students in the country. This information can help you on trip to another country and can help you get along with a foreign person that you go to school with or work with. In Costa Rica if your invited to a person house on business than you can give the person flowers, wine, and chocolate.

  11. Saint Lucia

  12. I visited the Culture Crossing website and looked at one country in particular: New Zealand. (I planned out a trip to New Zealand over last year's summer.) Here are a few things I found:

    The handshake is a very common greeting in New Zealand, whether between two men, two women, or a man and a woman.

    An arm's length of personal space is common in informal and formal meetings, and to show sincerity, one must make just enough eye contact with another person.

    Although most of NZ society is egalitarian, the Maori people have clearly defined gender roles.

    When making an informal or distant greeting, raising one's eyebrows is common.

    When meeting someone, be aware that the person may invite you to his/her house for drinks, lunch, or BBQ.

    No protocol exists for giving and reveiving business cards in business.

    Showing up for business meetings on time or early is recommended, and exchanging some small talk is acceptable.

    In business situations, gifts are not usually exchanged. However, if invited to someone's house, it it wise to bring a small gift for the person.

    For most NZ educational institutions, the school year lasts from January to December, with a 6-week break between school years.


  13. Costa Rica one is -Guyvin-

  14. William
    Interesting information on how to greet someone, however, it isn't much different than in my own country except that the number of kisses are extended. The legal drinking age was also very interesting since the actual drinking age in Guatemala is the same, which makes me wonder whether it is because a cultural reason or because it isn't a big problem in small countries? Under the Taboos section there was a gesture that "Making a fist with one hand and slapping the top of it with the other hand is rude", for the life of me I just can't imagine the gesture right and because of that I don't understand the insult. On the other hand, having to greet every single person in a group is very understandable because the same holds in Guatemala.

  15. Russia
    LOCATION: Asia
    GOVERNMENT: Federation
    OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Russian, plus many minority language.
    MAJOR RELIGION(S): Russian Orthodox 15-20%, Muslim 10-15%, other Christian 2%. Russia has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers.
    MAJOR ETHNIC GROUPS: Russian 79.8%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 2%, Bashkir 1.2%, Chuvash 1.1%, other or unspecified 12.1%.
    Avoid shaking hands and giving things across a threshold of a house, room, or office. It is best to cross the threshold completely before shaking a host's hand when arriving and leaving.
    It is considered rude to point with your finger. It’s better to use the whole hand.
    Putting one’s feet up on the furniture is considered extremely bad form, as is showing the soles of your shoes to someone.
    The American “Ok” sign and thumbs up sign are rude gestures.
    Putting your thumb in between your middle and index finger while making a fist is an obscene gesture.

  16. In Italy it is considered normal to use hand gestures alot in conversation. People will not look at you strangely if you express your emotions strongly in public. In the United States this is not the case. Causing a 'scene' with your emotions or language (conversation) is looked down upon in the U.S. People in the U.S pay special attention to their person space. In most communities there is a general limit to the space that is shared between a group of people. In Italy, an arm's length or less is the typical distance between people.

    There are similarities and differences in the United States and Italy that can be clearly seen if someone was to visit the opposite country. People should take notice of the social norms in the societies they live in so they know what theu do is proper and respectful.

    ~Jasmine BW

  17. I chose Spain because I've always been interested in the culture there. I found their society to be more relaxed and affecionate but at the same time they were still very traditional. One thing that stood out to me was the when women greeted men for the first time they shake hands, and it was custom for the women to her hand first. I always thought that men should offer theirs. Table manners were found to be important and eating with your hands was a big no-no. When I read that I started laughing because I know alot of people that eat like that. It was interesting to look at the site and it increased my desire to go there.
    - Brittney

  18. The country that I decided to study is Costa Rica. I would like to visit Costa Rica some day because it seems like a beautiful country. Their communication style is not very direct it reqires more active listening than in other countries. The people do not mind being in close proximity to each other but the usual distance is an arms length. Something wierd that I found out was that if you put your thumb between your middle and pointer finger while making a fist than you are making an obscene gesture.

  19. I found the site to be interesting because you can create a guide on different etiquette and such to follow by in different countries. This site is very beneficial especially dealing with foreign affairs.

  20. The country I chose was Indonesia. There in order to greet someone, you shake hands. Smiling is often used even when people don't like something or they don't agree. Pointing your finger at someone is considered bad. Also, there is almost no touching between men and women while conversing. Kissing and hugging in public is to be avoided at all costs. From my findings, it seems very strict over there. The rules about touching and not touching are somewhat similar with other Islamic countries.

  21. Barbados:
    The people of Barbados are some of the friendliest West Indain people. The lifestyle of Barbadians is mostly expressed though their music, dance, and food. Since Barbados was a British colony, the official language of the country is English. Also based on this, most Barbadians are of Angelican decent. Going to church is a big part of their week.
    Barbadians are known for their kindness. They have compassion towards others, and embrace others.
    One ritual that is in the country is that each school day begins with prayer.
    The priests in the country have influence over public policy and the cultural life. This is a reason why there are no casinos on the island.


  22. First off this website is cool. I wondered about the truth of this guide because people like me could add information in. I looked at the country of Thailand. I found out that women can hold corporate position.I look into the taboos "Don’t show the sole of your foot or use the foot to move anything as it is viewed as the lowliest body part." saw it very wired. I wonder if their citizens play soccer. When I saw"Always use your right hand to pass or receive and object." its the same in my culture. Using you left hand is a curse. Also monks have a true level of respect.Seeing connect with the community I though it was going to be like epals but it was a way for viewers to join the social networks he had.

  23. This is a very informative website. One is able to learn about the various cultural customs of another country without even visiting that country. The country I chose is Fiji. Fijian culture is very conservative especially with the gender roles. Fijian culture portrays women as inferior to men. This nation's culture gives women the "housewife" figure in society. The major role of women in Fiji is to be responsible for all domestic functions and bear the children. But the thing that struck me the most is that Fijians refer to foreigners as tourists regardless of how long the foreigner may have lived in the nation. Overall, the website does give solid information on other cultures. However, it seems as though anyone can visit the site and add information. This feature takes away from the reliability of the cultural knowledge displayed this website.

  24. *I had an extremely difficult time getting onto this website; I was forced to use my phone in order to complete this assignment

    1. The first thing that stood out to me was the title "Culture Crossing" and the logo. I automatically assumed that this website involves connecting people from different places of the world together.

    2. When I clicked on the "Explore you cultural baggage" tab it took me to a page that asked a series of questions, with open explanations. This page breaks down the concept of "cultural baggage" by first allowing the reader to identify their culture, and then by explaining what one could possibly carry in this bag. Then towards the bottom of the page non verbal communication is explored. This subtopic intrigued me because shows the impact that one's culture has on their execution of body language, and on their interpretation of body language.

    --- Stella

  25. The country that i chose was the Netherlands. They greet each other with kisses on the cheek. That is not the way i am accustomed to greeting people because where i am from personal space is something people value. But i have seen this greeting before. People in the Netherlands are more straight forward and honest than people in America. Their honesty is valued and respecting instead of seen as rude or blunt. Being punctual is very important. Hands in pockets when someone is talking to you is a sign of disrespect. In the buisness aspect they are similar to American's such as the way they dress and handle buisness relationships. Student life is diffrent from ours. It is acceptable to smoke and drink at a younger age in the Netherlands. But the way they socialize is similar to the way we do, going to parties and hanging out with friends.

    I expected more a difference between the culture in America and Holland. They are more straight forward then Americans but the way they go about things is very similar to the way we do. - Jazmine A

  26. I choose the country Seychelles. I have never heard if this country in my life so I thought it would be cool to explore it. This country is located in Africa and the Middle East. The government are Republic. The offical languages are: Creole 91.8%, English 4.9% (official), other 3.1%, unspecified 0.2%. The major religions are: Roman Catholic 82.3%, Anglican 6.4%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.1%, other Christian 3.4%, Hindu 2.1%, Muslim 1.1%, other non-Christian 1.5%, unspecified 1.5%, none 0.6%. The major ethnic groups are: Mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab. Men greeting men handshake. Women greeting women handshake or if they are close friends or family they kiss on the cheek. Men greeting women shake hands or if they are close friends or family then they will kiss on the cheek. When children are being introduced to an adult they are expected to kiss them on the cheek. I wouldn't be able to do that because I don't kiss anyone especially if I just meet them. Personal space does not tend to be highly valued. Less than an arm's length is usually the norm. People generally have very few boundaries, which can be disconcerting to many Westerners. Light touching during conversations is very common with whoever one is interacting with. I do not have a problem with there personal space and touching styles but if they get to close I would be uncomfortable. The dress code for men is- Fairly casual, long trousers and a shirt, no tie needed in most situations. The dress code for women is- Knee length skirts and a blouse. There dress code is old school for me which contradict with there gender roles in a away. Which are Seychelles is a matriarchal society. The women tend to be the ones who run businesses and are also very present in the government. They may dress as they please and are generally very free. I think the website kind of contradicts itself.

  27. The page refused to open so I had to be creative in opening it by using the Cached version of it.On the website I found multiple countries I never knew existed, but the one I choose Suriname. I'v never never heard of the country before and it looks and sounds interesting to me. Suriname is located in central & South America. Its official language is Dutch, but other languages such as English, Sranang tongo (Taki-Taki) are widely spoken. The Surinames are mostly Hindu, Muslims and Roman Catholic. The webpage didn't have much besides the general info on the country, so that's all I was able to see on that particular country.

  28. Lesotho, Africa

    I tried to pick a very unknown country, one that was extremely small in comparison to others. Lesotho is literally a country surrounded by another country, the country of South Africa. It is just like Swaziland, another country inside South Africa that is relatively tiny. I picked this small country because I wanted to see if the website could truly capture such an underrepresented country, a country that I did not even know existed until I saw it on the map. But everything down to the language and basic greetings is captured, and not only does this surprise me, but this shows the website to me as a wonderful source for information. The fact that it can accurately describe and label such a small country fascinates me. If it can do that with Lesotho, how many other countries can one learn information from?

    Some facts about this country is that greetings are usually verbal, and individuals do not acknowledge others with nods of their heads or waves. It is always verbal, forcing one to communicate with another. This shows a friendly enviornment. However, information on the school system is limited.


  29. Saint Lucia is a country i have never heard of, located on the North American and the Caribbean territory. I find it suprising that thier secondary language is french instead of some hispanic language. The have a Parliamentary Democracy. Another thing that struck me was thier ethnic group. Guess i was neive in picking that country because the studies were not what i thought it would be. It was by random selection. About 82.5% are black. Thier school systems are different from the United States, their educational systems have a trimemster almost like how community colleges are conducted.I love how they greet each other though, i find it amusing that they jam thier fists and tap thier chest which would replace a handshake in the United states. But if they were in a formal situation they would shake hands. Man greeting Woman, In a casual setting would jam fists only if thier friends. Most often men and women still shake hands or if in a casual situation and they know one another well they may hug. If a man thinks that a woman is attractive, he may attempt to get her attention by making a “psssst” noise. I wish the United states could be more like that.


  30. A country that is unfamiliar to me is Antigua and Barbuda located in the Caribbean. I would love to visit this country and expand my horizons of the beauty of the Caribbean apart from my homeland the Dominican Republic. I chose this country because of its diversity and intricate scale of culture. The website gives information on the different ethnic groups of the country which include Black, British, Portuguese, Lebanese, Syrian. The fact that they speak the English language gives me a good feeling about the communication of the country and knowing that they speak english makes me feel good. Not much information was provided on this country on the website, but one concern that i have is that when i click on a certain category it allows you to edit or add information on the website. This was discussed in class and i feel cautious about the information provided to us on the website; the validity is indeterminate!

  31. LOVELY ~~~

    Findings on the site:
    It's a resourceful site, especially when one is to use it as a guide for traveling in unfamiliar places because it includes etiquettes of other countries. Therefore, it is a site to obtain knowledge of what not to do when traveling to other places. Also, it's like a site full of advices as well of how one should act properly in a specific country, because it is important to act properly while one is in a new place to avoid trouble. Most importantly though, it is a site to learn how to communicate well with other people, especially other unfamiliar people because one would learn how to interact with different kinds of people with different kinds of backgrounds. Moreover, it's a site for everyone; whether you'd be a student, businessman, traveler, reporter, or even an older adult because it's comprehensible since it is more like a site full of advices of the right and wrong things when traveling.

    Country: Armenia
    I've heard of Armenia in history, such as losing its population in wars, but I've never heard of her culture.
    So that's why I picked Armenia as the country to explore.

    Findings: It's Asian! And I'm always interested in Asian countries, not that I'm biased in knowing other non-Asian countries, but because there's a lot of cultures I can find in different Asian countries especially that it is the largest continent in the world. So it'd be great to know much from the continent I'm from. Then, in terms of Armenia, I thought it would be part of Europe because the people there are so not Asian. They are more influenced by western culture, but simultaneously, they have their own authentic culture. Part of their culture that I got most intrigued with was with "touching and personal space." The site discussed something about "arm's length" of space and that's very specific, but also important between businessmen and I never really thought that it would be important to have space between two people in a conversation because usually I just sub-consciously talk with someone with space anyway and when I'm interacting with my friends it's the same, there's space but some affection. In addition, it is intriguing to find that "typically, males and females show no affection through touching, no matter what the relationship may be (sister, wife, etc)," because usually there is an affection between males and females as sister-brother, or wife-husband, even if it's not western culture because most Filipinos do as well, but others don't because of religious background. Therefore, it might be tied up with their religious background.


Thanks for posting!!