10 November 2010

Cross-Cultural Etiquette: Introduction

     One of my favorite ways to spend my free time is in the company of international students attending our local university. These students have broadened my horizons, expanded my world-view, and helped me to understand the depth of beauty in all cultures of the world.
     In addition to changing the way I view my life and my culture they have also taught me, by trial and error, proper etiquette for interacting with people of all cultures. I plan on sharing little bits of this gained wisdom throughout the coming weeks in hopes that it might broaden our perspective, make us more open to building cross-cultural relationships and tearing down the barriers that separate, and make us more prepared to offer hospitality and generosity to all those around us. To me, there is nothing more wonderful than being an indiscriminate host. Magic happens, and community forms when people of all backgrounds are welcomed into one place to dine and share with one another in an evening.
      Stay tuned in the weeks ahead for a mostly fool-proof guide to understanding cultural barriers, mutual misunderstandings, proper dining etiquette, dietary restrictions, and the like.

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