I´m actually just preparing my final exam (teachers degree), which also incorporates the question of “intercultural qualification”
I came across an article about European identity – if it exists, how it ought to be encouraged and so on. The author questioned if Europeans knew enough about other European countries.
Then I got pretty curious, asked myself what I knew about different cultures. I mean, I travelled a lot, took part in exchanging programms and so on. But see, I shared life with a French family in my teenage years for I think two months. And yes, I saw differences to my family life at home, but it really didn´t seem to me being caused in ethnic or nationality, but just in being another family than mine ;)
I am browsing my brain, but nothing will come to me – what might be “typical” for Frensh, Spanish, Portugueses, Irish? What could you call a cultural heritage? What historical influences might have been really important to the development of traditions? Are there any cultural behaviours, other nations could not understand/could misunderstand?
I am thinking about “the Germans” and nothing would come to me. I only know the stereotype, being organized, loving punctuality and beer. Hum, then I am not a German.
Of course, what still – and maybe always will – influences Germany is the “guilt of 2nd world war”. And – what I can just tell about many many I know, which is always the same, in profile, is maybe an intense interest in “social things” to give it that wide term. I mean, helping children, animals, the interest in helping in developing countries and so on. But – most of the time I realized it´s not that steady. Personal life still comes first, after a time the child centre is not that important anymore, they already have done sth, you know? But I just guess this is NOT a German “quality”.
I see in all the German education systems a lack of wide spread politic interest. I think there is a focus only on European history and politics. But – I guess – also not typical German, but this also counts for other European countries.
Well, it´s just I DON´T KNOW.
Could anyone tell out of experience, or just in a good way of selfreflection tell, what might be cultural heritage for this or that nation?
I am REALLY INTERESTED in all nations here. Who can give a profile about Chineses for example, besides “basical knowledge” as “very kind, not straight forward”?
I only experienced alien culture for me while staying 3 month in East Africa, Uganda. Real family life meaning generations living together, caring for each other – all the income was for the WHOLE family. There was a familyhead (who really got/used this term) and who was responsible for each question, who had to organize what´s best for the whole family. And the hierarchy was not to violate, which I by the way did, not knowing it. Having a question, a problem? Don´t you ask the leading members of the family, but start addressing the maid or children. They will move the case forward to whom it concerns.
Being loved as a mother is caused in “she gave birth to me” but not in the way like “what she did good to me, she is a good person” or stuff like that. Giving birth really was the point of getting respect. For me that seemed and still is strange, always thinking in ways of feminism … but in their way of thinking it is NOT degrading, I should always keep that in mind.
Ha, talking a lot.
So, if anyone made it through my chitchat, I really would be interested in your feelings – do we have national identities? Could you put those in words? As I CAN´T, I would love to hear it from other nations.