Paper: Personal Thoughts on Cultural Differences and Alien Cultures

Identifying the foreign customs is a difficult task for any visitors. Cultural conflicts may occur when one does not know much about the strange social codes other than his own country. In reality, people's opinion about whether the host country should encourage cultural differences or to what degree should they accept the alien cultures as they may cause annoyance to them. In my opinion, | insist that the local customs should be highly respected in many occasions but not necessarily be followed blindly. The primary concern is given to the significance of one's national traditions and heritage that has been passed down. It is important because all these customs has undergone thousands of years of practice and become the treasure of a nation. For instance, the eating tradition in many areas and regions such as people eat red eggs when they have a new baby, eating jiaozi--a kind of Chinese dumpling when we celebrate Chinese lunar year, and still eating when someone's grandpa passed away. This might be a blunt for many visitors who first come here. Visitors in such a situation may choose to practice as if he were a local or he may just see and enjoy the atmosphere. Even if visitors keep a stance away from the traditions of a foreign country, they should not be hostile to them. The reason is simple. If the visitors refuse to take the fact that the local customs may offend their faith or something they believe, and even they are disheartening, they will possibly act improperly under such situation. Take eating out custom as example, Chinese people when eating out, there are always a person who masters the table and even pays the bill. This might be offensive to a foreign who does not get used to this manner. But as we Chinese people say" Ru Xiang Sui Su" literally means that one should get used to the local customs when visiting it, this is a reflection of what we discuss here about the culture diversity. In general, one should see how he knows about the cultures and how he should react upon it. There are no fixed rules to be followed. What seems important is "when in Rome; do as the Romans do" philosophy applies to many situations when one feel uncertain about the host culture. ...