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The world is a small village. Intercultural communication

The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow, Bill Gates.

The term was coined by Marshall McLuhan and refers to information and communication technologies (the Internet, mass media, and social networks) that have shortened distances among people. We live in a world where information travels at the speed of light and is circulated more widely than ever before.

Besides, it is also increasingly interconnected and interdependent, what happens “there” affects things over “here” and vice-versa. For example, by September and October of 2008, the subprime mortgage crisis in the USA had effectively spilled over into the world’s financial markets and real economies.

In the globalized world that is ours, maybe we are moving towards a global village, but that global village brings in a lot of different people, a lot of different ideas, lots of different backgrounds, lots of different aspirations, Lakhdar Brahimi.

In the globalized world that is ours, maybe we are moving towards a global village, but that global village brings in a lot of different people, a lot of different ideas, lots of different backgrounds, lots of different aspirations, Lakhdar Brahimi.

What shall we do about it?

  1. The sense of time. It is a scarce resource for western countries, time is money. It must be rationed, controlled, and well managed. For other cultures, time is a flexible resource, it should be subordinated to being kind, friendly, and patient to others. Time is money

    Time is money

  2. Physical contact. Depending on their culture and intimacy, a greeting can be a handshake, a hug, a kiss, two or three kisses, a nose rub, etc. We are hard-wired to need touch, especially in the earliest development stages. We are and desperately need to be and feel connected to others. However, some people can feel very uncomfortable when they are touched.

    Asian people don’t like been touched and/or kissed by strangers, many people use shaking hands, wave, nod or a slight bow as a greeting instead; some women don’t like people touching their pregnant bellies and African-Americans dislike people touching their hair. The human touch is that little snippet of physical affection that brings a bit of comfort, support, and kindness. It doesn’t take much from the one who gives it, but can make a huge difference in the one who receives it, Mya Robarts

    The human touch is that little snippet of physical affection that brings a bit of comfort, support, and kindness. It doesn’t take much from the one who gives it, but can make a huge difference in the one who receives it, Mya Robarts

  3. Silence. Talking is the only right way to communicate in western countries, silence is almost intolerable, and many will say this literally. However, other cultures value silence. It is advocated over redundancy, rude language, and idle talk. A silent mouth is sweet.

    A silent mouth is sweet.

  4. Eye contact. This is a sign of confidence, integrity, and sincerity in western culture. Direct eye contact is indeed culture specific. Some cultures view direct eye contact as indicating hostility, rudeness, anger, and even sexual harassment. Eye contact beats any conversation, Christina Strigas

    Eye contact beats any conversation, Christina Strigas

  5. Physical appearance. Muslim women are required to cover themselves and wearing a veil is compulsory in some Islamic countries. People will make judgments before you even speak based on the way you look. Most definitely your physical appearance matters. The way you dress, your hygiene - it all matters, Jonathan Adler

    People will make judgments before you even speak based on the way you look. Most definitely your physical appearance matters. The way you dress, your hygiene - it all matters, Jonathan Adler

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