A couple of months ago, my wife and I took a trans-Pacific cruise. It was a journey from San Francisco to Honolulu and back again, with stops in between at Los Angeles, the Galapagos Islands, Chile, Peru and Japan. There were two aspects of this trip that made it especially interesting for me: we got “offline” for about twenty days; I’d never been to Japan before.
The more intriguing aspect which informed my decision to write this blog post – was the cultural experience on board the ship. It was fascinating how our interactions changed depending on where we were sailing.
Sailing within the United States, we were on a cruise for the whole family. People spoke about their families, hometowns and jobs in the same way you’d hear them speak about those things back home. On board, our socialization was based on local relationships – everyone knew everyone else.
Traveling via foreign ports changed everything. For example, when we went to Hawaii we had to eat at an English-speaking restaurant since our ship didn’t have any Japanese food available. Since Hawaiians are ethnically Pacific Islanders, they naturally came from this part of the world.
Here at https://movers-edge.com has some more information about Offline for a Trans-Pacific Cruise, & Books about Japan.
Here some points are discussed-
1. The Power of English
Language differences permanently alter the way people interact. If you want to learn another language, you can engage in a two-way conversation with a native speaker and make your own discoveries.
However, when you’re on the other end of that conversation it’s not so easy to follow along or speak up if you have something to say.
This was made evident during our trip when we couldn’t speak Japanese and most Japanese couldn’t speak English well enough to have a real conversation with us. While that didn’t make for an ideal atmosphere for experiencing Japan through real communication, it did provide an excellent environment for observing cultural differences between America and Japan!
2. What’s Really Different
The main difference between Japan and the U.S. is how private people are in public. In the U.S., people wear their hearts on their sleeves and value being open with others.
For example, a lot of Americans see nothing wrong with talking about their jobs in detail (and often in harsh terms) while they’re out in public because they feel it’s an acceptable expression based on American social norms.
The vast majority of Japanese, however, have a more reserved attitude about talking about their personal business when they’re out in public because it’s not considered appropriate behavior by Japanese social standards.
3. Why the Difference Matters
It’s important to understand these differences in public/private behavior both because they can make international travel more difficult and because they can have a critical impact on a person’s success within the U.S.
For example, an American who is very private may feel uncomfortable in social situations where he or she is expected to talk about his or her personal life. On the other hand, a Japanese person who isn’t very forthcoming in general might want to adapt his communication style for certain situations in order to get what he wants from people (such as getting a raise).
4. What to Do About It
The most important thing you can do if you’re planning to interact with people from another culture is to understand what’s going on beneath the surface. For example, one of the first things an American needs to realize about Japanese communication is that when they meet each other in public it’s often a chance encounter rather than a planned meeting.
Internet dating and/or long-term relationships can be hard for them because they aren’t used to arranging their schedules and meeting at a specific time or place.
In contrast, Americans using the Internet to find someone can find that they are meeting another American and that’s great! It means they can recognize the culture shock which comes with living in a different country.
As another example, it may take a Japanese person time to feel comfortable sharing intimate details about him or herself; this is not at all unusual for Japanese people.
This can be normal by American standards because we get a lot of personal attention from our friends and family. But people from other cultures need less time to feel safe discussing their private lives than we do.