TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

What does the speed of the acquisition of foreign cultural gestures reveal in one's personality?

I am wondering what does it really mean that someone picks up gestures of their non-native culture very slowly while others quite easily in a foreign country. Someone told me that in the US people serve themselves as guests in the kitchen, in India people shake their heads in a way a non-indian might not know wether it is 'yes' or 'no'. Still, someone gets the hang very fast, others simply continue behaving as they did at home. Does it mean the weakness of the personality, on the contrary flexibility or something else?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Aug 18 2011: I see some comments about not tasting the food while it is being cooked, in India. It is true that some very orthodox brahmins have this culture, but they are a small minority. The rest of us Indians, will taste the food when it is being cooked, however, we will not drop the spoon we tasted the food with back into the food. We are a predominantly hot country, practices like this keep our food fresher longer. These practices over time become customs.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.