OK hand signal: By NicP for Tauchreisen Nautilus One (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Culture Shock
Okay sign meanings

Part Three (10 min)

For this part, students will examine their own culture— from macro to micro.

For ten minutes, break the room into three groups, each with their own white board to write on together. Imagine that you are an alien from another planet and have landed in America. Look around at the environment and the people you see there. Describe what they look like, what they are doing, how they behave, communicate, interact, etc. For example, imagine landing in a grocery store, a sports stadium, a shopping mall, an airport lounge. Then try to answer the following questions:

What are the values and beliefs of this culture?
How does their behavior reflect their beliefs and values as a culture?
Why are the values and beliefs of each culture valid?
How did you feel about the other culture before you understood their values?
What could go wrong if people only judged the behaviors of another culture without understanding their beliefs and values?
 How easy is it to unconsciously judge others?
Were you tempted to use the words “strange” or “weird” when describing the behavior of the other culture?
 How does this show up in our daily lives?
Discuss situations where the voyagers were unable to get accurate information about others because their judgments and differences get in the way?
How can judgments lead to serious conflict between cultures?
 How we can train ourselves to refrain from making judgments in new or unfamiliar situations?
How can we train ourselves to think: “that’s just the way their culture is, and that’s okay" ?