Intercultural Communication Does Matters!
If someday your best friend invite you for a afternoon tea, and serve the delicacies such as the deep-fried crickets, sautéed grasshoppers, seasoned water bug, maggot or even fried tarantula and scorpions?. . . what will you say to your friend? Will you say that it is yummy food so you really want to try or you will say that it is disgusting for human to eat the insects? How will you communicate your different preference of food to your friend that is very proud to her exotic food from her country?
I remember the years ago during my visit to Thailand, and found out that the list of the “least common’ food above are actually the “common” food that you can find in the streets of Bangkok. Truly speaking, at that time I was not brave enough to try and taste one of these delicacies! I could not imagine these creepy-crawlies were going inside my mouth and tummy!
Living in diverse society, especially as an expatriate who moving from country to country to live and travel everywhere, I should be ready to meet and encounter people from different groups with their unique cultural background every day, included their communication style that are different from me in some ways. One important fact that I need to remember is that people from different culture with different worldviews perceive the world quite differently! (O’Hair and Wiemann, 2013). So what I perceived as “disgusting” food can be perceived differently to the people from different culture such as “delicious, yummy and even healthy as the source of protein!”
I believe it is a worthwhile thing to improve my intercultural communication with the diverse society around me, -and it is not without effort! I believe that my desire to learn somebody else’s culture, which is very different from me, is a great starting point!
Ahh… now I have a good idea to tell my husband that he should take me again to Thailand, because I want to try the food outside my culture, the gastronomic adventure with the insects delicacies!
(Reflection in my journey for going places around the world-
Written during my holiday in Kuching, Sarawak-Malaysia)
O’Hair, D., & Wiemann, M. (2012). Real communication: An introduction. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s