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RE: Guilt and Shame

in #culture2 years ago

I expect the issue of different root values of different cultures really does play in here. A friend who works for Microsoft and spends a good bit of time in both Shanghai and Hong Kong has pointed out how confusing these can be because two sides can be operating in totally good and sincere faith and yet be at odds because what's considered positive by one culture is perceived to be negative in another.

Take something as simple as "haggling" over the price of a commodity. In one culture you are seen as shrewd and wise for haggling, in another you are seen as cheap and rude. And yet, both sides are having a 100% authentic experience.

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Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Your comment is filled with truth. Cultures (and by extension people from those cultures) value things differently.

Haggling is a great example. In Indonesia, haggling showed that you valued the relationship as you were willing to spend time with the person. If you had a enough money that you did not need to bargain then you showed that you did not care for those you were financially interacting with. It makes sense after someone explains, but not if your culture does not have the same perspective.

When I lived in southern Spain as a teenager, we'd periodically go across the water to Morocco and pick up things at various markets... and it was simply expected that everything would be "ridiculously overpriced" for the express purpose that you would enter lengthy negotiations (almost like a chess match) back and forth to eventually reach an agreeable price. American tourists who'd just pay the price without question were seen as "ignorant foreigners."

Our Microsoft friend pointed out that there is actually a (or set of?) Chinese logograms that signify "Cheat, if you can get away with it," and it has a culturally positive connotation, implying that you are clever in business. To most westerners, such a thing sounds horrific...

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