Embrace other cultures

Embrace other Cultures Modern Belle LifeI am not going to lie, I’m not the most PC person in the world. I’m polite, but not politically correct.  I try to follow Thumper’s mom’s advice, “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” That means I spend a lot of time quietly listening and biting my tongue in order not to offend others.  Society, in general, has gotten so comfortable with judgments that we now write them off as observations and do not consider how it might be taken by those around us.

After a recent trip to Japan, I realized that some people seem incapable of embracing an experience and would rather judge and compare the culture they are visiting with their own comfort zone. Instead of taking in the experience and learning from it, we instead had a constant volley of comments and jokes and sarcasm (and that’s coming from the queen of sarcasm!!), so much so that it was off-putting.

The best part of going to other places is learning from the culture. I can’t say that I have enjoyed every bit of every place I’ve gone.  Usually, the foods are WAY outside my meat and potatoes comfort zone. The flavor profiles and the almost constant use of fish over beef and poultry are enough to nearly push me over the edge 7 days into an 11-day trip. Not being able to have a normal conversation with someone – like room service or the front desk at the hotel – is really difficult.  I ordered room service 3 separate occasions in Japan and not once was I sure that I was getting what I wanted until after they showed up at my door.

While having a guide for Fukuoka take us to shrines, temples, and restaurants, my traveling companions made fun of the experiences.  Making snide remarks incessantly.  It was very awkward.  I can’t imagine they would have made those comments in front of others in the U.S. like that, but somehow it ended up happening there and being okay.

Learning through comparisons is only natural but be careful not to become a judge-y douche.  Embrace other cultures, the change, and the differences. It might be your only opportunity to ever experience that country & culture.  Don’t spend the whole time talking about home instead of making memories.

 

 

Random Musings #anything Goes

 

6 comments on “Embrace other cultures

  1. What a lovely post. I do sometimes wonder why people bother visiting other countries if they can’t let themselves go a bit and embrace something new. I found Google Translate a fab tool in my armoury when I visited Turkey this year. I’ve not checked if it did Japanese.
    I hope you had a great time.

    #AnythingGoes

    • I know the part that takes pictures of text and interprets is hit or miss. That’s all I tried with it. G. Translate did work really well in Paris though! Glad to hear it works in other countries. I’ll have to keep it on the phone for future trips. Thanks for stopping by MrsM!

  2. I couldn’t agree more! I can’t understand people who spend a fortune on the trip of a lifetime and spend it bitching and complaining that its different to home. That’s kind of the point! If people were less quick to judge and embraced local tradition rather than mocking it, they might even learn something.
    I must admit though that in one country I visited, I gave in around day 5 and went to McDonalds just so I could eat something I recognised. It wasn’t that the local food was bad, it was just very different and my stomach was starting to object lol 🙂
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes
    Debbie

    • Totally agreed Debbie! It was so frustrating listening to all the complaints! I eat some American style foods while I’m traveling as well. But I tr to never turn down a local meal, despite the fact that it’s rarely anything that I would eat in the States.

      Thanks for stopping by!!

  3. A very interesting post. Totally agree with you and, of course, we all forget ourselves sometimes. However, it’s always a nuisance to have to swerve your fellow travellers when they start to behave badly. I guess this happens a lot in Europe, one can generally spot them a mile off, generally at the departure airport. Can’t imagine why anyone would want to go to Japan if they aren’t going to embrace the local culture or at least give it a go! Nice to meet you at #AnythingGoes

    • Oh, tourists are the worst, and I’m guilty of a few of the common sins, like focusing too much on pictures and not on the experience. I am working on that one. It was a work trip, so granted it wasn’t like they selected to go to Japan. Just goes to show that people have different ways of dealing I suppose – I will try to make the best of anything while some go into a shut down mode instead.

      Thanks for stopping by Nicky! Hope to see you around again!

Comments are closed.