Culture is a word that stands for the manner in which people behave. Since the term “culture” comprises the various ways in which people handle tasks, it also signifies their behavior. Somebody’s lifestyle conforms to his or her behaviors and habits. Culture creates a platform for the expression of one’s feelings. It is the setting that culture portrays that always determines the final character and lifestyle of an individual. The ability of one to decipher the behavior of another person from a different culture can be termed as social perception. It refers to the study of impression formation and inference making of other people. Social perception relies on how one appears physically, together with the gestures and the language that a person uses (Varl, 2011).
Non-verbal habits are always used to express emotions by different people. They include body positions and movements, gestures, touch and many others. They bring about habits in the most concealing ways and also enhance verbal communication. One has to read between the lines to decode what the non-verbal habits portray. Inaccurate decoding may come about due to the differences that people possess when it comes to perceiving the meaning of habits. A given gesture may bring out a different notion as that of a varied culture (Varl, 2011). The laws in different nations also contribute to this. There are those that accept certain behaviors and others find them offensive. Same sex relations may be considered unethical in one society while it may be normal in another one. Culture setting also dictates what nonverbal behaviors are appropriate for display and which ones are not.
Emblems refer to hands and arms gestures that are understood differently by various cultures. Cultural differences exist in the theories relating to emancipation of behavior. Ambiguity found in these cultures creates room for the differences in interpretations. One can also decode another person’s behavior based on his or her personal attributions or external attributions. This means the situation that one is in influences his or her behavior and response to that particular event. Research suggests that successful marriages always judge positive behaviors basing on internal attributions and external attributions basing on external attributions. I have learnt that different culture settings depict how an emotion is to be expressed and to what extent. One culture may consider a given behavior as being worth, but this may fall on dangerous grounds in a different culture. This means that judgment should be on the basis of critical analysis of a given culture rather than individual perceptions. For example, the American culture may permit reminiscing and laughing out loud as a way of expressing joyous couples. On the other hand, Parisian culture may not permit such behaviors. It is clearly shown by how Parisians react to the American couples reminisce. They looked at them with eyes that depicted despise. Their loom symbolized a feeling that the American couple was unworthy of their respect based on their acts.
Male homosexuality is considered offensive by Charia and the civil, penal code. It is so, because the males who are not straight oriented in terms of sexuality practice it in a clandestine realm. All pertinent social rules require that all males should marry and have children regardless of their social orientation. In order to pretend to be straight and avoid disappointing themselves and the society, they organize hidden places like cinemas or night clubs where they meet and interact. Those places are solely purposed for meeting with other homosexuals. This notion of secluding places for their encounters and interactions is the main reason behind the American couple’s assumption that the guide was gay. They saw him in seclusion and with many men enjoying themselves with dancing. The guide may have reacted the way he did because homosexuality for males is punishable by law.
Kissing is a way of expressing affection, or respect when greeting a person. This depends on the person’s culture and beliefs. In Greece, kissing is common and is used to express affection. The Greek owner kissed and hugged Scott since he was the man in that situation. Scott was taken aback because in America only the gay fully hugged and kissed each other on the cheeks. Basing on that, Scott may have been thinking about the Greek owner kissing, hugging and considering him as a gay person.
The Japanese lady cleaned the lawn in her neighborhood because she considered it as being responsible. It is necessary, in most cultures, to help others. The lady did not bother telling the American couple about it because she looked at them as strangers and people who did not conform to her culture. Japanese rarely associate with strangers, especially in their neighborhood. Also, the lady did not wait for appreciation as according to her, it was not a favor but a calling and responsibility (Gilbert, 2012).
Cultures differ in their interpretations of different behaviors. This, therefore, calls for respect of the different cultures that exist. It is necessary for one to adapt to the cultures and beliefs of a place that he or she visits. The difficulty that exists in adapting to new cultures should not be used as a basis of making mistakes. It is worth researching on the different cultures and beliefs of the world. Cultural diversity makes life worth living. It makes it easy to compare the benefits that a given culture may have and also the flaws in their beliefs.
While watching a certain television program on Paris culture, in anticipation to view a romantic dance, I was shocked to witness violence. This was referred to as Apache dance. There was a couple dressed in dancing garments. The man, in the program, mockingly slapped and pinched the lady. He was also pulling the lady by her long hair while throwing her to the ground as she struggled and faked unconsciously. The lady also struggled to fight back in self defense. I misinterpreted the dance, for a fight between the couple and focused on the man’s violence acts. I felt very sorry for the lady as I did not properly understand the dance. The Apache dance is one mal-dramatic dance which is popular in Paris. It was associated with street culture at the start of the twentieth century. This dance was named after the American-Indian tribe. The term ‘apache’ is used to represent certain visible elements of the Paris underworld. The dance is generally set to demonstrate a violent communication between a pimp and prostitute. It follows that in Paris, when people hear the word ‘apache’, they expect violence in it because of their cultural setting. Unlike me, a non-Parisian, I could not understand their culture. In the dance between a man and a woman, I expect a romantic setting. My culture values the dance moves and violence is never portrayed in dances. Dances are considered as a way of relaxing and having fun. A man who chooses to beat a lady may be excommunicated from the society. Such behavior is not allowed and people are warned against it. A lady is not expected to fight back whenever confronted by a man. The Bible teachings of submission always apply in all instances (Kalefa, 2012).
Prostitution is an act that is absconded in my culture. It is viewed as an immoral act. Prostitutes work at night and usually they are expected not to portray their acts in the open. They have designated places where they are allowed to work. This is not the same in other nations. There are countries where prostitution is considered a legal profession. Both males and females engage in it in order to earn a living. People do not consider it as an immoral act and they have all rights in exercising their profession. There are organizations that support prostitution (Gilbert, 2012).
It is evident that cultures differ. The perceptions that people have also vary. One may find it difficult to adapt to new cultures in the event of touring certain countries. This should not hamper one from his or her adventures. It is necessary for one to be flexible and to always inquire about the laws and cultures of the places they visit.