Small town, small world

The title of classmate Jessica’s blog, From the Middle of Nowhere to Everywhere, only gets better over time.
The first time I visited, it didn’t really hit me how apt a title it was. She grew up in a small town and now works in international public relations. A social mistake because of cultural differences could be incredibly harmful to her work. Her awareness of those cultural differences is key.
But part of me is now thinking of the parallels between small-town life and cross-cultural communication. I remember hearing that in one non-U.S. society, you will be offered food, and your polite decline of that food will not be taken seriously until the food has been offered three times.
Sure sounds like my great-Aunt Teenie’s kitchen in Macon, Ga.
Some social considerations seem to be pervasive in many cultures, and often those broad-reaching considerations are rooted in religious beliefs as well: welcome the stranger with hospitality, accept friends of friends as warmly as you would accept the original friend, be nice to your elders and your in-laws.
I welcome the chance to learn more as the class continues.


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