November29 , 2023

3 Tips to Bridge Cultural Gaps Abroad

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Culture refers to a set of shared values of a certain society or people. The culture is a combination of ideas, values, customs, and rituals to mention a few. Culture varies from society to society. This variation of culture is seen by some as a sign of difference. The cultural gap is something that every human faces daily. Some even do it unconsciously without any significant hurdle or problem. Some also get stuck in between, which becomes an issue.

But how can we bridge these cultural gaps that we might experience in different places including the workplace, schools, etc?  It is difficult to bridge a cultural gap when you are not aware of the culture. Sometimes when there is no language barrier, understanding culture through communication becomes easy.

However, when we move abroad, this language barrier causes frustration in understanding the culture of other societies. However, a few factors can help to bridge the cultural gap which is an ongoing process.

1.      Language

To understand someone’s culture a language is the best medium. It is a focal point that helps you merge well and integrate with other people. You can understand a lot when you go into a conversation with someone. The local news even becomes hard to understand when you are not able to understand the language. However, things like social codes, traditions, customs, etc can not be understood with the language but still, you get a fair overview of things with language understanding.

2.      Humor

Humor is the essence of life, a sort of fuel that keeps us going. However, it differs from culture to culture. To understand the humor you must be aware of the language of the culture. The jokes you might hear in certain cultures won’t sound funny to you because you can not understand the language. Therefore, culture can be learned through jokes but that requires time and language skills.

What you can do is watch comedians and understand the idea of their jokes. To understand the Arab culture you can watch stand up comedy documentary. The documentaries can also play a part in portraying the culture effectively.

3.      Context And Patience

Sometimes, even after being aware of the language you might not be able to understand the situation. The context of the situation can be different. This can make a person frustrated., as he/she can not take part in a conversation due to ambiguities despite knowing the language. However, making friends can help you understand such a situation. Get along with local colleagues who can help you explain the background of the situation being discussed.

Therefore, pick on the table which can make things easier for you. Spending time with locals can also help you understand the rituals, customs, and habits. Patience and time are the keys to taking things ahead in life. So understanding culture also needs patience. With patience, you can make new friends in different cultures as well who might stay friends for a lifetime.