In tutorial, we discuss the understanding of cultures and the cultural difference between people. Personally, I am born in Australia but parents are from two different cultural backgrounds Vietnam and China. Thus, because of the differences in family cultural background and the Australian culture, there is a difficulty from the culture conflict. In the Australian family structure, children speaking openly about their personal thoughts is consider acceptable, and the communication between parents and children is of mutual understanding and communicated in a way similar to conversation between friends. In the contrast, the Asian family structure is very different, the children’s thoughts are insignificant and the parents are more stubborn and controlling over the children.
The Malaysian culture is very similar to the Chinese culture, where in family the husband is dominant and the wife is only a subordinate. The general culture is sexist and discriminative towards women. This family structure can also represent the workplace, where it is an advantage to be a male over a female when it comes to higher pay positions and other business jobs. However, in business, a big difference in the western culture and the Australian culture is trust issues. Trust gain in the Malaysian culture from long-term friendship or family relations, it is something that can only be developed over time. However, the Australian culture people are easier going and trust can be gain from simple good conversation skills and having similar interests. Understanding this concept, sometime we might feel that there is a lack of trust between the two people. However, a key problem is, there can still be friendly and close conversation even with the trust issues, creating confusion for people with an Australian culture. In Asian culture, the workplace is similar to their family, because the culture is family orientated after a few years of working with the business and eventually developing trust, then treating of the employee is similar to a family member. However, like all other nations, we are rapidly becoming a global culture and these traditional cultures are slowly changing or disappearing. One important aspect about the Australian culture that is much better than Asian is discrimination in social classes. In the Australian society, everyone is equal; unfortunately, in the Asian culture there is a lot of discrimination, where upper class members can highly arrogant and snobbish.
The difference in culture also determines the expectations of business transactions where proposals and business agreements are signed between the two parties. In the Asian culture, the direction of the agreement depends upon the public relation office or person in charge of handling the proposal. The client has the expectation that this male member is required to pay for an expensive dinner and/or the late night adult entertainment after the dinner. These incentives can swing from a successful proposal to complete failure. However, in the Australian culture are much more professional and a simple lunch from someone with good communication skills can conclude a successful proposal. This may be a major difference in dealing with business but it can be also beneficial to employee dealing with the client. This benefit is the fact that all these additional expenditures are under company expenditure rather than personal. (The information about client handling is from my uncle who is a tire sales businessperson in China; and a close friend of mine whose father who owns a denim jeans franchise in Malaysia.)
The link below has lots of information about Singapore and its workplace culture. It outlines various information including family and personality of its people.
Fortunately, we have a group that multicultural with people coming from all different backgrounds, allowing us to have a more rich understanding of other cultures in the world.
Bec explained how she was use to the Australian culture and still finds the aboriginal culture strange or unusual, telling us when speaking with elders we should not look at them in the eyes because to the elders it a sign of disrespect.
Fred explained how women in Sweden are less torrent of the dominant male culture in Australia. Creating understanding there is more gender equality in Sweden, where the male and the female are as equals, therefore sharing of housework is have to even. If, male’s do not do there share of the housework, generally the female would leave.
Kris explained how she was uncomfortable with her Dutch relatives, where she felt uncomfortable because the relatives would invade her personal space because of the chummy culture in the Netherlands. In the European culture, generally the personal spaces does not exist, where hugs and kisses between men or women are considered friendly and greeting gestures.
For international students who want to understand more about the Australian culture the links below is a good website.