Archives for posts with tag: Culture

You can be an enemy or a friend depending on where you stand.

Personal space, two men talking, outside in the park socializing, two nice guys, sales and marketing in the field, black jacket in the sun

Photo from Bradley Gordon’s flickr

When a stranger came shoulder to shoulder out of a sudden, a person’s natural response is to protect herself and her belongings. Some will cast a hazy stare. Men may push him off without haste. This is because strangers are not welcome to enter our personal space.

Personal space is claimed territory around us. It is described as an “imaginary bubble”; and serves as an extension of our self. We are wary to people coming close to us. In situations where we are forced to crowd, we become uncomfortable. This is the reason co-riders in elevators are quiet.

People whom we have intimate relationships, be it friends or family, are permitted to invade our space. And at certain instances, we allow strangers to enter and shake hands or dip cheeks; but this is a brief contract of consent. A swift kiss from an acquaintance is alright but it’s a violation if it took minutes.

It is rude to strand next to someone and you’re too deep inside his personal space; but it is equally rude to be too away.

Culture defines a difference in personal space. Westerners generally have wider personal space compared to Asians because west people are more individualistic; and thus demand more territory. People from United States, Canada and England require the largest personal space.

Aside from geographical influences, men have broader comfort zones than women. People from the higher class of society expect more personal space. And understandably, victims of abuse need more space.

In social interactions, people should adjust to the demands of each other’s personal space. No matter how sincere your compliments are, it is the emotion you made them feel that they’ll remember. If you’re too far away, you’re aloof. If you’re too close, you’re overwhelming. Make sure you’re in the right ground to grant yourself a better impression.

It is hard to mentally calculate every person’s unique space requirements. We won’t know the history of our acquaintances either. But their behaviors will tell when we’re not at the optimal position. These signs include stepping forward or stepping back, clenching fists, covering the top lip, and leaning. Be aware of how they react.

What are your simple behaviors when people you’re interacting with are too far or too close?

Personal Space: Why Two Can Be a Crowd; Excelle
5 Signs you are invading my personal space; Ethical Behavior

The Senkaku Islands are covered in jungle but no rivers – it’s uninhabitable.

war between china and japan, world war III 3, senkaku island, asia, southeast asia, oppression, Chinese citizens protest

Photos from

This month Japan bought the islands, prompting large-scale protests in China. Japan has been in control since 1972 anyway. But there might be a lot of oil reserves.

The dispute was caused by the territorial claims of Japan and China. The islands are within the boundaries of both countries, because they are close to Chinese coast as well as the Japanese one. Japanese boats have been on patrol to prevent Chinese fishing boats from visiting.

It is strange that China makes a fuss of the islands. They never really seem to have cared about them; Japanese boats have been on patrol long before this dispute. What would China want to do with those islands?  The oil that can be found there might be of some use, but it can’t be as important as China makes it seem. And the financial argument of China can’t possibly be better than the cultural argument of Japan. It became clear that a financial argument was possible in 1971, so why protest against the Japanese claim now? China hasn’t  been able to use those oil (and gas) reserves for 40 years, it can’t be that important if you ignore those reserves for so long.

This doesn’t make Japan good though. They tell the world that China only wants those islands for the money, but isn’t it a strange coincidence that Japan is in control of the Senkaku Islands since 1972, one year after the oil discovery? And why do they want to be the official owner of the islands, when they have been in control for so long? An answer for that is the money they’ll get from the oil reserves.

Is the dispute only about oil? There is also an important military shipping lane and it offers fishing grounds.  But does China need the fishing grounds or the oil? Probably not. They can’t need the strategic shipping lanes either, as if they would fear Japan more if it ‘officially’ owns these islands.

For China it is important to create an enemy. It is better for the harmony among people when they all have the same enemy; Japan. If China encourages protests, everyone in China will become mad at Japan. Normally if people protest in China, people are beaten and sent to jail. In the anti-Japan protests, no one is hurt. China is supporting the protests, if not organising them.

In front of a camera a Chinese civilian said: “They are stealing our land. War is the only solution”. If all civilians would be as easily manipulated as she is, war will be the only way to relieve their anger. What if Japan is not the chosen enemy but Europe or the United States? How easy would it be for China to start a war, to convince their people they’re right?

Is war the solution to this dispute?

A person waving his hand is typically saying hello, but for Chinese people it means go away.

Traveller's Gestures, culture etiquette, body language in different country and culture, backpacker, travel, traveling, hand signs, hand gestures, eye contact, gestures handbook

Traveling is in almost every person’s bucket list. But culture is a huge account and it must not be overlooked. Being a travel enthusiast, I’ve learned from research that the typical gestures that we know means differently in other countries. Better to be wary about it than be in a disadvantaged side.

The “Okay” Sign

Okay fingers, number three, hole in hand, gesture

Photo from photoXpress

This is a sexual insult for Greeks, money for Japanese, obscene for Spanish, faggot for Venezuelans and Turkish, zero or worthless for French, and asshole in Mediterranean countries.

Unwelcoming Wave of Hands

hi, hello, high five

Photo from hobvias sudoneighm’s flickr

Waving of hands is commonly welcoming as it denotes hi or hello. In Indians and Chinese people, it means no or go away. In Japanese people, it means I do not understand or I do not deserve this.

Despicable Thumbs Up

thumbs up to the sky, beautiful hand, nice

Photo from photoXpress

Although the thumbs up gesture is universally known to bear approval or appraisal in general, it is an insult to the people of Iraq, the biggest kind actually. Don’t do it there, as well as in Greece, Russia, Sardina, Italy, most of Latin America and West Africa because it’s like the fuck you sign for these countries.

Speak Now or Stop

Stop sign, open palm, show of hand, gesture

Photo from photoXpress

Country singer Taylor Swift has an album called speak now. But Asian countries literally expect you to speak now when you raise your hand with your palm exposed. In the west, it means stop.

A Pointing Finger

direction, you!, pointing on someone or something

Photo from a2gemma’s flickr

A pointing finger is rude across different cultures. Especially in Nepal, it means “wait and I will have something against you!”.

Prohibited Handshake

firm and cool handshake, interaction, touch of hands, man to man hand shake

Photo from stock.xchng

In Islam and Judaism, handshake is prohibited among people of opposite sexes. And since left hands are used to wipe your ass after pooping, it is considered the dirty hands for Middle Eastern countries; so never shake using left hand in their territory.

The V Peace Sign

red nails, beautiful nails and hands

Photo from photoXpress

This is the peace sign. It is also used to indicate cuteness in photo for Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan and Vietnam. At times, it could be a war sign since in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland and United Kingdom.

“What are you looking at?”

Blue eyes in focus, gorgeous eyes closed up zoomed in, eye contact, turquios

Photo from airgap’s flickr

How rude it is when you talk and the other person is not looking at you. It is as if that person is not listening. Eye contact is really important in our conversations or mere interactions. Yet, staring is considered rude in Zimbabwe,  Japan, China, and few other Asian countries as well. Staring or eye contact at women is also forbidden in Arab countries.

A Different Kind of Headshake

breath in, smell, man guy chin up, nod, nodding, shave

Photo from SuperFantastic’s flickr

Shake your head up and down – you’re saying yes. Shake your head sideways – you are saying no. In some middle eastern countries, it is the other way around. Same applies in Nepal and Greece.

Keep Your Soles of Feet Out of Sight

beach sand on shoes, lying on the beach, beautiful sunny day, relax, man

Photo from imageafter

In Arab countries and Egypt, it is rude to display your soles of feet. This is the reason why when you sit, you should not cross your legs. In India, feet are so unclean you should apologize if you touch anybody with it.

Good to know isn’t it?

More Moments for you:
Loath these Laws
10 Gorgeous World Leaders of 2012
What if.. Nationality is a Choice

Cultural Etiquettes: Things considered rude in different cultures; Helium
5 common American gestures that might insult the locals; Matador Network
Cultural Gestures; Tripod
Nepal Customs & Etiquette; Nepal Vista

Every family has a strange practice that the dependents should follow.

Strange Family Picture, Strange Family Practices, Strange parenting, unconventional Parenting, two boys, two babies and a father, family on the floor, first family photo, one big happy family

Photo from Ewan Topping’s flickr

I don’t question my parents’ rules in our house until I’m in the age of reason. I remember that time when I cannot have a spree with my PlayStation for about a month because.. it’s evil. My brother, in high school, can’t join the Karate Club because he will get hurt. What? Says who? What’s the basis? But see, we’re dependents so we better just follow.

A recent questionable parenting is that of Beck Laxton and Kieran Cooper, who didn’t reveal their child’s gender until his 5th age. Sasha is anatomically a boy but they dress him in a girl’s clothes and play with dolls. They even let Sasha decide which clothes to wear in school, either a girl or a boy’s uniform.

Our judgment won’t matter because it’s parents’ choice. Here are more strange parenting practices that ought to raise our eyebrows.

Amy Chua

When daughter Lulu could’t play a piano piece, Amy would “threaten her with no lunch, no dinner, no Christmas or Hanukkah presents, no birthday parties for two, three, four years. When she still kept playing it wrong, I told her she was purposely working herself into a frenzy because she was secretly afraid she couldn’t do it. I told her to stop being lazy, cowardly, self-indulgent and pathetic.”

Lina Medina

Lina gave birth to her eldest at the age of 5 years old and 7 months. How does this happen? She is suffering from Precocious Puberty. So with early sexual development, she gave birth and regards her son a mere younger brother. She even prefers dolls that spending time with her son. The sad case is that they never knew who the father was.

The Duggar Family

With 20 children so far this 2012, Duggar family is huge. And they plan to have as much children as possible.

They are happy, debt free and self-supporting. I hope they think of forming their own Duggar football team!

Michael Jackson

We know the story. Michael is an overprotective father. He doesn’t want his children to be picked on just because their father sings thriller, so everytime they’ll go public, they have to wear masks. They never go schooling with other kids, but adhered on homeschooling. Well, I guess they’re stucked at home for a long time.

Steve Russo

Perhaps Steve would do all it takes to ensure manhood of his son. He organized a party with alcohols like vodka and rum, and a stripper’s pole. Photos are idiotically uploaded to Facebook, which favored his arrest for “giving booze to minors, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors”.

Do you have any unconventional parenting experiences within your family?

More Moments for you:
Children: Robots Are Human
Comment for Same-Sex Schools Study
What If.. You Sell a Body to a Chemist

Couple Finally Reveals Child’s Gender, Five Years After Birth; Yahoo!
Strange Parenting Tales: Fact or Fiction?; squidoo
Bad Parenting: Strange Stories of Mindless Moms and Dumb Dads;
Weird Kids: Is raising children unconventionally really bad parenting?;
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