Olga Mecking from European Mama gave a thought-provoking workshop through Delft INA on November 26th 2012.
She took us through the following topics:
- What is culture?
- What is communication?
- What is intercultural communication?
- Tips for successful communication
- The role of the media in culture
- How does globalization affect cultures?
As someone who has travelled widely, with a multicultural background and who has lived in Australia, UK and The Netherlands, I found this interesting and relevant.
One term she raised, which I had not heard before but made a lot of sense was “glocalisation“. The link will take you to an extensive wikipedia description but basically this concept combines both “globalisation” and “localisation” and its when something reflects both a global standard and a local one. With the rise of the internet in particular, I feel this is something we will continue to see more and more of.
She also discussed the role of the media and how we learn about culture through the media. Personally, I think this gives the media an important responsibility which is rarely lives up to.
Some of the tips Olga shared for successful communication were to:
- Learn the basics
- Observe and repeat
- Ask questions
- Be aware of your own culture background
- Find something that you like about this particular culture
- Look for similarities
Expats can further prepare for culture shock, reach out to others and realise it’s ok to need help! Technology plays a huge role in communication in many cultures and can be of particular help to expats wanting to both keep in contact with their “home” culture as well as connect with and understand the new one.
Thanks Olga for giving a simple framework for us to begin a discussion on a complex but fascinating topic, as well as sharing some practical tips to help.
You can see some photos and read more about the workshop on the Delft INA website.
If you’d like to contact Olga , you can do so via:
- Twitter: @TheEuropeanMama
- Facebook: European Mama Page
- Website & Blog: European Mama