Intercultural Communication

Topics: Culture, Cross-cultural communication, Communication Pages: 6 (1911 words) Published: October 25, 2013
Yevgeniya Zhdanova.

Intercultural communication.
Learning diary.

Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart.
Mahatma Gandhi.

Culture is complex, abstract and pervasive matrix of social elements that functions as an all-encompassing form or pattern for living by laying a predictable world in which an individual is firmly oriented. Culture is individual and universal! This is a very complex concept that includes life, art, science, individual and society. Culture - is a special environment, where the person lives. To understand the culture of a person, reading the literature of a country is not enough. To understand, we must live in this environment and communicate with these people. Culture is very interesting meaning, and in different countries it understandable by different ways. Culture, what you believe, what you value, how you live matters. When I found out that we will have intercultural communication lections I was very interested by this subject. In my group there are a lot of representatives of different cultures, for instance, Finnish, American, Nepalese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Hungarian, Indian, Kenya’s, Nigeria’s, Russian and Kazakh cultures, and it will be very useful to know about their lives and interests. Ritva Leppänen, our teacher, said that the main goal of her subject is to teach us how to be able to compare and analyze different cultures and understand communication as part of the culture. This knowledge will be helpful in our future, when we will work together in the business field, communicate, introduce new ideas and thoughts, improve our attainments in practice, and if we want to avoid misunderstanding and unsuccessful negotiations, we should to appreciate cultures, which we work with. As well, Ritva will help us to avoid culture shock and understand complex situations, arising in Finland. Learning and socializing with different cultures is a great opportunity to have good friends around the world.

Culture is the process by which a person becomes all that they were created capable of being. Thomas Carlyle.

Intercultural communication divides into two parts: verbal communication and non-verbal communication. Verbal communication is communication by help of words and non-verbal is more difficult to understand, because in different cultures there are a lot of symbols, mimics, gestures, motions, that mean something. It is important to mention, that there are Hofstede´s dimensions of cultural variability / cultural comparisons, for example: Power distance,

Individualism – collectivism,
Masculinity –femininity,
Uncertainty avoidance.
It seems to me, to know culture better it is really important to be tolerance, sensitive and flexible. Show your interest, also try to learn language and live some time abroad. If we look at «Iceberg model of culture», we will observe, that bottom formed by values, beliefs, status, justice and nature of friendship, but dress language, food, art and music constructed the top of «Iceberg»! We should to remember, that culture is not innate, culture is learnt, transmissible, dynamic, selective, ethnocentric. It is not difficult, it is different!

We know what we are, but not what we may be.
William Shakespeare.

What is identity? When I think about identity, I also think about culture. Needless to say, that identity is characteristics of person with his or her views on various things, interests and thoughts. When we get into a different environment, a culture, we begin to feel strong identity. There are also collective identities, as Ritva explained, is members ‘shared concept of its central qualities which are permanent by nature and thus distinguished from others’. There are a lot of different cultural identities like gender identity, age identity, sexual identity, racial identity, ethnic identity, religious identity, class identity, regional identity, subcultural identity and personal identity,...
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