Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cross-Cultural Clichés?

For a year or so, I have been receiving the expat email bulletin from My British friends have admonished me about this source of information, and yes I KNOW THE GUARDIAN IS TEN TIMES BETTER! In fact, the latter updated their website not too long ago and it is quite spiffy-looking, so I highly recommend it for quality reading.

But for a mix of legitimate news and plenty of "oh yuk" and "gosh, really?" stories, The Telegraph is just great. It also offers a lot of high-hope-inducing headlines, like these National Cultural Profiles.

"National Cultural Profiles are your guide to the thinking patterns of all the world's major cultures. The resource is taken from the CultureActive cultural web programme, which is used by corporations, governments and non-government organisations."

The CultureActive program is available by subscription only, and I can only hope its information is more complete than the excerpts provided by the Telegraph:

"The Chinese truly believe that they possess a huge store of positive traits, which makes them superior to others..."

"Finnish manners in general are characterised by reserve, reticence and modesty. The sauna is a place where they relax and become more talkative."

"The French believe that they are intellectually superior to any other nationality."

"Senior Saudis, though benign, often adopt a moralistic tone to younger Westerners..."

"Greece is a tactile culture..."

Hmmm, I didn't realize "Greece" was a culture. It looks like both the journalism and the writing could use a little improvement on this piece!

1 comment:

Randal Graves said...

I think I could add a few traits to that very last one and not all of them pretty.