14/06/12

Cross-cultural communication might turn out to be a hard nut to crack. Especially when you’re a peach fallen among coconuts… 

Check out: One Reason Cross-Cultural Small Talk Is So Tricky

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Listen

peach_coconut

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Glossary

  • prerequisite – a thing that is required as a prior condition for something else to happen or exist
  • acquaintance – a person one knows slightly, but who is not a close friend
  • unintended – not planned or meant
  • purposely – on purpose; intentionally
  • instigate – bring about or initiate (an action or event)
  • hostile – showing or feeling opposition or dislike; unfriendly
  • cloak – hide, cover, or disguise (something)

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Think about it

Answer the questions below.

  • What did the author do wrong during her first dinner party in France?
  • What is the difference between “peach” and “coconut” cultures?
  • In what ways can coconuts react to peaches?
  • How did Igor Agapov feel after his conversation ended? Why?
  • What can you do if you’re a peach among coconuts?
  • What can you do if you’re a coconut among peaches?

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Practice makes perfect

Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words.

Coconuts may react to peaches ________ a couple of ways. Some interpret the friendliness ________ an offer of friendship and when people don’t follow through on the unintended offer, they conclude that the peaches are disingenuous or hypocritical.  Such ________ the German in Brazil who puzzled: “In Brazil people are so friendly – they are constantly inviting me over ________ coffee. I happily agree, but time and ________ they forget to tell me where they live.”  Igor Agapov, a Russian colleague, was equally surprised to experience the pit of the peach on his first trip to the United States: “I sat next to a stranger ________ the airplane for a nine-hour flight to New York. This American began asking me very personal questions: was it my first trip to the U.S., what was I leaving behind in Russia, ________ I been away from my children for this long before? He also shared very personal information about himself. He told me he was a bass player and talked about how difficult his frequent travelling ________ for his wife, who was with his newborn child right now in Florida.”

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