Hey! Are you super cool? do you always know what to say and how to act? Are you sure? We have to test you outside your known circle and manners.
Culture is something amazing, is a number of rules, behaviours and perceptions and entire group of individuals have been sharing for years. Culture is so powerful we tend to think it is our own opinion and we’ve decided it.
But culture is nothing than actions learnt by mere repetition in a community, and they don’t have to follow any logical method to be, they just are!
Spanish people kiss each other all the time, and I remember how puzzled all the britons were when we introduced ourselves and we tried to kiss the girls.
Once they learnt how we behave, they actually try to do their best, but when you give two kisses to a Briton, you can really feel how clumsy they are… they don’t know which side to start, they don’t know how to move…
We can only learn a culture with experience, living it, and remember the language is nothing but a part of the culture!
Every time we’re outside our inner circle, we actually feel lost and don’t know what to do, but we can always go with the flow and try to imitate them (and never judge them!).
Here’s an example how we actually sound sometimes when we have a culture clash referred to ourselves.
Open your mind
I’ve seen English people saying that putting oil to a toast with raw garlic was a stupid thing to do, and after trying the Mediterranean breakfast they cannot stop swallowing garlic with olive oil, because we never know what to expect from new things and it’s worth trying.
If you want to learn a language, you should never ever judge the culture that implies, you can share it instead and be ready to expand your universe. Connections make us better beings!
And remember if the first thing is to respect the culture, the second thing is to learn it so you are not the fish out of the water I mentioned before.