October 2015Clues to Intercultural Effectiveness
Tips, Techniques and Resources
Cultural Detective is Diversity.com Top Business
by Kathryn Stillings

Nipporica Associates LLC, the company behind the Cultural Detective brand, is proud to announce that it has been been named to the Diversity Business's "Top Business" list for the 15th year in a row, each year since the inception of the prestigious award!

This honor speaks to the hard work and dedication of our Cultural Detective team, beginning with Dianne Hofner Saphiere, founder and principal, and including our highly talented and diverse group of 138 authors, hundreds of certified facilitators around the globe, and to YOU, our clients, colleagues, and community.

Together we engage passionately every day to build respect, understanding, collaboration, and justice across cultures!

Hollywood Goes Intercultural


 
Preparing to waste some time watching an in-flight movie as I flew to Europe from Mexico, I perked up considerably as soon as Los Tigres del Norte's America came on. This film,McFarland USA, was not going to be a standard high school sports movie after all!

The plot line:
Track coach Kevin Costner's (Mr. White) temper has resulted in him and his family bouncing from one high school to another in a downward spiral of disenfranchisement from family and friends, as well as loss of self esteem and family cohesion. As the movie opens, Mr. White is forced to leave a (very white) school in Idaho for a very rural school in another part of the USA. His daughter's first words as they pull into their new home? "Dad, are we in Mexico?" It turns out they've moved to the agricultural Central Valley of California. Living as a US expat in Mexico, their cultural confusion delighted my soul.

Curious About Sexual Customs and Beliefs?



 
Kissing customs vary by culture; we all know that-when greeting, do you kiss, bow, shake hands, hug, fist bump, or use some other gesture? If you do kiss to say hello, do you do kiss once, twice or thrice? Do you kiss the lips, cheek or air?

But when it comes to kissing a lover, to passionate or sexual kissing, well, suddenly we think that is surely universal.

According to a recent study of 168 cultures worldwide, romantic-sexual kissing is actually far from universal. In fact, the study shows that only 41% of the world's cultures engage in romantic kissing! Researchers on the project were anthropologists William Jakowiak and Shelly Volsche, of the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and gender studies researcher Justin Garcia, from Indiana University Bloomington. The paper, entitled, "Is the Romantic-Sexual Kiss a Near Human Universal?", was published in The American Anthropologist in July, 2015.

Online Events You Can't Miss


Our complimentary, 90 minute online workshops feature Dianne, creator of our series, or select Cultural Detective authors. They are designed to help participants learn to appreciate and leverage diversity as an asset, rather than seeking to minimize differences.

Check out our full online learning schedule, or click directly to information and registration for one of the following:
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (GMT-6)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (GMT-6)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (GMT-6)
A Reliable Process to Transform Blame Into Accountability


 
Blame is one of the most powerful tools in the repertoire of a Cultural Defective. Do you want to diminish trust in a relationship? Cause irritation? Ensure that others do not want to help you succeed? Ruin a perfect opportunity for cross-cultural collaboration? Then blame is a good strategy.
In contrast, Cultural Detective advises you to "refuse to take offense"; a much smarter operating norm for Cultural Effectives. Has someone failed to inform you in a timely manner? Rather than blaming them for rudeness or unprofessionalism, it is more constructive to learn the intentions behind their (lack of) communication, explain your preferences, and together create a shared way forward or a "third culture."

 Are You Familiar with What "Mx" Means?
by Kathryn Stillings

Growing up in the USA in the 1950s, as I did, it was "clearly understood" that there were two genders: boys and girls. So it never crossed my mind until I was much older that perhaps the binary world of gender was not so binary. And if one allows-even intellectually-for that possibility, you can begin to see how difficult daily life can be for transgender people, individuals who do not identify with the gender to which they were assigned at birth.

The more one thinks about it, the more complex being transgender becomes. Take a seemingly simple thing like filling out a standardized form: what do you do if you aren't Miss, Mrs., Ms., or Mr.? This is the dilemma that opens Jacob Tobia's recent piece in The Guardian, which I highly recommend. He writes of the difficulties of not having a gender-neutral option available in so many daily situations. As I read his article, I began to realize the privilege given to "cisgendered" individuals-those who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.
 
Explore Racial Prejudice and Celebrate Human Diversity



 
Do you think you are well-read on world cultures? Do you occasionally wonder what one person can do to promote justice in this world of ours? Are you someone who thinks that it's primarily people of color who recognize the vital importance of diversity on our planet? If so, think again and most definitely read on.

Edith Anisfield Wolf, born way back in 1889, was a poet, businesswoman and philanthropist from Cleveland who had a lifelong passion for social justice. The daughter of immigrants, Edith spoke four languages (English, French, German and Spanish) and used literature as a means to explore racial prejudice and celebrate human diversity.
 
Improv To Strengthen Communication Across Cultures
by Patricia Comolet
 
What is one of the main challenges of going into a new cultural situation? Of course, dealing with the unknown, and, often, the self, doubt that it can trigger:
OMG do I need to take off my shoes here? But I have a hole in my sock! What will they think of me?
In other situations, it could be defensive self, assertion that might be triggered:
It is clear that this situation requires someone here to take charge. As the new COO it is my job to step up to that challenge. I need to show that I know what I'm doing or what will they think of me?

Underneath the stress of adapting to an unknown situation or culture can be the insidious fear of judgment.

 Connect with Cultural Detective
 
 

Cultural Detective blog header Subscribe to the Cultural Detective blog to view it online or receive posts via email. 

CD on YouTube

Cultural Detective has a YouTube channel, CDTV, with 20 playlists for different purposes. Please be sure to check it out and help us build this resource. Thank you!

 

 

  

   

Twitter logo
Facebook icon
 Visit Our Archive

We record the latest news updates, and have archived past issues of this newsletter, on one of our web pages. Past issues include instructions for interesting activities, theoretical discussions about intercultural issues, and links to many intercultural resources. Please take a look and enjoy the resources you find!

 
Contact Information
phone: USA +1 (913) 901-0243
email: news@culturaldetective.com
Join our mailing list!
 
Newsletter Editor: 
Vanessa G. Hernández