Cultural Differences

Have you ever wondered, how much your culture may influence the way you understand people of different background? Sometimes when somebody uses too beautiful words, "what a flatterer", can cross our minds, when one don't understand our words we have repeatedly said, we can think: "Is he/she stupid or what?", and sometimes when one sounds too straightforward, we can feel yourself mad and insulted. Was this all intended? Or is there some influences we didn't know to consider?

If you are European (don't know about Americans though), how would you feel when somebody says to you: "You are walking like an elephant!". If you are European, you can feel yourself very insulted and think: "Am I really so clumsy and fat, that you have to say this to me?". But guess how'd you feel, when you'd have Indian background? "Well, I must be looking gooood - majestic and handsome!" (Now I need some Indian to confirm it :), but that's what was told us by our English teacher and I know, that there's a beautiful Indian girl name Gajgamini, what means "Who walks like Elephant")

© Alexh
When we hear somebody saying something like that, we can perceive from the tone of her/his voice, was it insult or praise. But without hearing? If we just can read something like that from posts or blogs. How easy is it to draw wrong conclusions?

So, have you noticed, how cultural differences have influenced you?

Photo credits: Alex Hinds, Noriko Cooper, Chris Fourie, Piotr Kozikowski, Phil Date.

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Maigi

I think I read that name from a suggested baby girl names list. That's why I thought it's a girl name in India. :) So, nowadays in India no guy tells a girl: "Darling, you are walking like an elephant!" Well, good to know. I think that globalization and worldwide communication has done its job and we gonna use more and more similar metaphors in all of our languages. :) That's a little bit sad, but good to know. Thank you for your comment!

Lavanya

Well, Gajagamini is a metaphor, found mostly in Indian mythology/drama/poetry referring to the elusive walk of the woman, an enchantress, a mystical figure.

A movie by the same name was made by the controversial artist, MF Hussain (Forbes Magazine calls him Picasso of India)

I think it's a bit of a risk nowadays - using this word- especially with women ;) unless people involved are poets or theater enthusiasts...

Maigi

:) Thank you, guys, for your comments. Yes, I hoped, Nikhil, that you will comment in this blog. It's good to know background of that saying. Thanks, Carmen, about what you said in this and another blog. I appreciate it! Talk to you, guys, later!

Thefinalmiracle

I am an Indian. Gajagamini has been a character and is about a woman whose walk has the grace of a royal elephant. But still as an Indian also a far person would take it as an offence thinking that the person is refering to him as an elephant considering its size. :)

Tangie

I believe it is a question of common sense. We are indeed very different. I have noticed that even Europeans are extremely different. We, in the South, are very warm and cheerful. The Eastern Europeans are very different from the Western ones. But, and I emphasize that, sometimes it is a matter of self-education and personality. And I am well-aware of some signs, gestures and expressions I should not use let's say in Australia, or in China. i know it is nice tu burp after dinner in some countries. My mother would slap me instantly if I dared to do so in my parents'house. I can do it somewhere else of course :P But it is not an appreciated thing in our country.
I have educated myself to be in a certain way. very open-minded, extremely tolerant and nice. I used to be a teacher for 4 years. I am nice and cheerful and praise people when they really strike me as personalities and when I think they really deserve it. I am never false and hypocrit - I think you can feel such persons. I for one, do!
From the blog posts....hmmm.......you are right, some people are nice, some are ...I refrain from saying.:P. I leave comments to the people I like and appreciate. I surely hope nobody takes what I say more than.you're ok, i enjoy a good laugh with you, or I like your photos, or bla bla. We usually connect with people who have something in common with us right? Now or in general...

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