Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Cultural Blunder

I made good last week for a cultural blunder. The last time I was in the east, I gave a gift of coffee to my sister-in-law. Now in my own culture, one sees nothing problematic here. But my sister-in-law belongs to the younger generation. One of the older generation told me politely but firmly that this was not correct. A few days ago, then, we had visitors from the east -- so I sent some gifts back with them, headed for the older generation. OBSERVATION: In European culture, one expresses pleasure over every gift. In African culture, one's gift may not be correct, or it may not be pleasing. I was a bit taken aback by this at first, but now I know. In fact, I prefer this to "pleasure over every gift".

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