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Mind Your Manners

Mind Your Manners

Date: Jun 02 2006

Intro

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up a loogie[/def] on the streets of Beijing may seem like standard practice, but the Chinese government is working hard to get its citizens to mind their manners at home and overseas.

Anyone who has traveled or lived in a foreign culture understands that behaviors that are meaningless in one culture can be offensive in another. Recently, hotel operators in Singapore have been complaining about Chinese tourists who smoke in bed and spit on the floor.

Of course, Chinese tourists aren’t the only ones to offend.

Listen to Dave and Kevin talk about their experiences in other cultures.

Dialog

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.

Dave

Dave

Kevin

Kevin

Dave:  The Chinese government is now warning its citizens that they can’t spit, or cut in line, or slurp their food in restaurants in countries outside of China and some Asian countries.

Kevin:  Yeah, I’ve heard that from a lot of people. I haven’t personally been to China, but I’ve spent, you know, quite a bit of time in Southeast Asia and I know I’ve seen that, those same kind of practices are quite common, like, in Thailand. People just cut in line.

Dave:  Right! Really frustrating!

Kevin:  Yeah.

Dave:  But to them, they’re not doing it to be rude.

Kevin:  Sure.

Dave:  It’s just how the culture operates.

Kevin:  Yeah, I think it takes, it takes some time to get used to that – that it’s not someone being rude to you. It’s just a matter of, that’s how it works. I remember being in line for money at an exchange in Bangkok, and I had been standing in line for a good ten minutes and suddenly the person standing behind me was in front of me, getting their money exchanged.

Dave:  [laughs].

Kevin:  And I thought, “Well, what’s this about?,” you know.

Dave:  Right. But also in Japan because slurping your soup is a sign of respect for the cook, so the louder you slurp, the more respect you’re showing. And I found that really difficult to do, going into ramen restaurants and people are encouraging me to [slurping sounds].

Kevin:  [slurping sounds].

Dave:  Slurp it up.

Kevin:  Yeah. It’s funny.

 

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Discussion

Cross-cultural relationships are complex, and things that fly in one culture may not fly in another. For example, people in North America and Great Britain like to form lines when waiting for something, which is not common practice in many Asian and South American countries.



In many Middle Eastern nations, men wear a lot of cologne, which might bother someone from a different part of the world.



What behaviors are common in your culture that might bother people from another culture? What do people from other cultures do that bothers you?

 

Comments

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teddy008

teddy008

China

more and more Chinese people mind their manners !
not only because the government’s hard working,also because people found it’s bad themselves.So Beijing is going to more and more beautiful,welcome to Beijing.

02:01 AM Jun 02 2006 |

panglossian

United States

episod – can I have your signature and $5? And your sanity?

12:39 AM Jun 02 2006 |

episod

episod

United States

Wish more people thought it impolite to stop me on the street and petition for my signature or money or my sanity.

12:26 AM Jun 02 2006 |

john

johnSuper Member!

United States

Good points made. We’re all weird!

12:13 AM Jun 02 2006 |

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