Tag Archives: Culture

How to put the Global in “Global Citizen”?

Inspired by the tales of a Global Speaker I’ve been observing my own global mindset. While living in Tanzania for 3 months I interacted with people around the world through receiving or providing various services. On my last day in Tanzania it is time to look at the following list: Continue reading How to put the Global in “Global Citizen”?

Funeral of an Employee in Tanzania

There has been a recent accumulation of obituaries in FINCAs email flow. Apparently every death of someone who is an employee or direct relative is acknowledged so co-workers can offer their condolences.

It appears that there is a specific way of dealing with death in Tanzania. There is substantial risk of losing face for the representatives of the company, especially if it is a foreign company. Let me tell you a little story. Continue reading Funeral of an Employee in Tanzania

Cultural Iceberg – What’s Below the Surface

In spite of human verbal communication there are still plenty of aspects that make it difficult at times to really understand each other. It is mostly about the unsaid things – the underlying assumptions we make and the values we have.

One particularly gripping example is of a mother in rural Afghanistan. Already having five children she is about to deliver the sixth one in a Continue reading Cultural Iceberg – What’s Below the Surface

How Words Shape our Thinking

Don’t ask me where I read cis-gender first, but the mildly unsettling touch has kept me in its grip for the last couple of weeks. What it means is simple: people who are comfortable with their birth gender. Which is like 99% of us. The “normal” people.

The effect on our thinking is substantial. The thoughts are no longer circling around normal and not-normal but instead are directed towards the fact that everyone has a gender identity and that cis-gender and trans-gender are related. It opens a window into the difficult choices and decisions a trans may need to take. It instills a gratitude for the cis not to need to reassign their gender.  It’s a politically correct term that has the power to bridge a gap.

How is this connected to my assignment in Tanzania? I might be perceived as bossy, rude or lazy when in fact I am being proactive, direct or thoughtful in my actions. Do we have credit or are we indebted? Is the glass half full or half empty? All a matter of cultural perspective and wording. What are your thoughts?