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Intercultural communication
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  1. #1
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    I'm a dutch student. I have to give a lecture about intercultural communication, especially about business and communication. I choose to give this lecture about Thailand and it's cultural differences compared to Europe.
    But it's very difficult to find information about this. Can anyone tell me some typical differences. I'm looking for different habits. Habits to be polite or to prevent offending a host.

    Thank you very much

    Hugo Langhorst from the Netherlands

  2. #2
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    There are so may defferences, I wouldn't know where to start. But I think looking around here you're due to find some interesting stories...
    Sorry, I'm not being helpful at all. I need some sleep, really don't know why I'm still sitting in front of my computer...::

  3. #3
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    I'm suprised you are having a difficult time finding information reguarding this issue. There is a wealth of Info regarding being polite in thailand, in this forumn and all over the web.
    Here is a good one to start with Since business is an issue. Typically in the west, when you are meeting someone for a business deal, Business is the first thing on the agenda of things to talk about. This contrasts to thailand. When making a business deal in thailand one may find that the fist thing on the agenda is getting to know your clients personally. BTW, I've not expericened this myself, this is all second hand knowledge I've read in books about doing business in thailand.
    You might also want to talk about the taboo of touch, i.e. shaking hands VS the wai. When you are introduced to someone new you wai them rather than shaking their hands. People you should wai include, elders, business contacts, friends of friends, persons of authority, anyone considered to be of high social status (higher than you). People you should not wai would be children and service staff. The wai serves as a sign of respect and should be always returned, unless given by a child.
    The Head and the feet also have some rules about them. The Head is the highest part of the body and should be regarded highly. You should never touch the head of another with your hand, even if you mean this in the up most intiment manner. This will offend someone, unless they are someone you know well. When sitting near or walking past someone who is older than you, or of a higher social class, it is consider polite to make sure you keep you head lower than theirs. The Feet are the lowest part of the body and are considered filthy, as well as shoes. When entering someones home, always remove your shoes outside the entrance or just inside the entrance. You will usually see a mass of shoes, this is where you would take yours off. Never use your foot to pick something up, Never point your feet at someone, Never place your feet above someones head, ect, ect. When sitting down, on the floor, sit with your legs crossed and tuck your feet in so they are not pointing at someone.
    Another big contrast to the west is who pays for dinner/luch/breakfast/the meal. In the united states, when I go out to a restruant with my friends, it is normal for people to either pay for their selection or split the bill into equal parts. In Thailand there are several ways, that I know of, to deceide who pays the bill. If it is your birthday, you pay for everyone. If it was you idea to go out to eat, you pay for everyone. If you make more money than everyone else, you pay for everyone.
    There is one more thing that should be brought up and that is 'saving face.' I'm going to let someone else tackel that topic.
    I hope this helps. I would write more but I'm a little busy at the moment. There are plenty of other members here that, I'm sure, would be able to contribute. Choke dee khrap !
    He who laughs last thinks slowest.

  4. #4
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    I agree with Dooug's comments. Well done Doug.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Well done Doug.
    Thank you
    He who laughs last thinks slowest.

  6. #6
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    wow, impressive, good observation.

  7. #7
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    You know very much about Thailand. Are you Thai?

  8. #8
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    I am very happy to know that you are interested in Budddhism, Doug

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Are you Thai?
    No I'm a white guy from the USA. I've visited Thailand 3 times in the last year, have many thai friends, and read alot about Thailand.
    He who laughs last thinks slowest.

  10. #10
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    and a girlfriend, a soon to be family, soon a second home in Thailand, and almost a job! lol
    Since light travels faster than sound, people appear bright until you hear them speak....and in every forum you will find at least one.

    When you critisize someone, walk a mile in his shoes first; then, if he gets mad, he'll be a mile away and barefoot.

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