post OP stuff [part 1]

My team (Team Abercrombie) has successfully and smoothly completed our Oral Presentation last Friday! Hurray!

For those who are curious, our team tried our best to coordinate the colour of our presentation clothes [White top, black pants], not sure if you noticed it XD

As some might remember, Lance introduced an article about Land Transport Authority testing out the use of LED lights on the road. As he brought a newspaper cutting, some of you may not know where you can view the article again. So I have found a link to this article:  http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1163930/1/.html

For part 2 of the OP video ( the 1st camera ran out of memory space T.T), just scroll down!

Advertisements

official post #4 : Evaluating Intercultural Behaviour

Certain cultures share some similarities, but often there are unique cultural practices specific to certain Asian countries. In this post, I will bring up the intercultural differences which I experienced last year at a local restaurant while I was in South Korea. Since our Chinese forefathers were from China and Korea (both North and South Korea in this case) was once part of China, I had assumed that Singaporean and Koreans shared slightly similar cultural practices with Chinese influence. An example would be that both cultures use chopsticks during meals.

As part of the tour, we were brought to a Korean restaurant for dinner on the first night of the tour. From the moment I stepped into the restaurant, I noticed a very interesting practice at the restaurant. We had to remove our shoes before we could enter the restaurant, something which was uncommon in Singapore. Of course, I adhered to this practice since I was in an unfamiliar environment and it was only polite to do so.

At the dinner table, we were served with an array of Korean side dishes. As Korean restaurant owners were known to be very hospitable, the restaurant owner gave us more food whenever she saw that our side dish plates were empty. At first, we (the Singaporeans) had not thought much of this gesture, but we noticed that the restaurant owner continuously came to our table to replenish whatever we had finished eating even though we did not ask her to do so. We were quite full towards the end of the dinner, but the restaurant owner continued to put food on our table. Since we did not want food wastage, we tried to tell the restaurant owner that we did not want any more food by waving our hands whenever she came towards our table. However, the restaurant owner took slight offence when we tried to reject her and she was even more insistent to replenish our dishes. What made the situation worse was that we were not fluent in the Korean Language and we ended up raising our voices while saying ‘No, no’. I knew that Korean restaurant owners were generous, but I never thought that it would be to the extent of forcing us to eat.

Thankfully, we had a Korean tour guide who had studied in China. The tour guide explained to us in Chinese that it was normal for the owners to provide food in surplus. Apparently, it would reflect badly on the owners if they did not replenish the empty dishes as it may appear that they were starving their customers by not letting them eat their fill. In addition, the owner had thought that we did not like their food when we started to wave our hands to reject the food and mistook our ‘No, no!’ as dislike to the food served.

Even simple hand gestures and words may have different meaning in different cultural context. As such, what we could do on our part is to try and learn as much as possible about the other culture and be aware of the situation we are in. Should anyone express disapproval of our actions or words, we should find out what we have done wrong and try and adapt accordingly. In this case, since language was a barrier, a third party who is familiar with both cultures (e.g. the tour guide) could be the mediator and communicator. Alternatively, learning a few basic phrases of that certain language would also be helpful.

sorry for the long post, this is the most concise i think i can go 🙂