East West culture

The Reason, The feelings, The law.

Let us suppose you were asked to rank the criteria elements quoted above, which would motivate your behavior. Your reply could well be it depends for what behavior. These elements were used to establish the criteria used in studies to establish cultural differences. The most often used ranking of the criteria in the different behaviors would give an in sight of the cultural behaviors.

It was found that most Anglo Saxons would use “the law” as the highest criteria in decision making. People influenced by Descartes’ would place “the reason” as the main criteria whilst Confucius influenced culture would be more inclined to have “the Feeling” criteria as the driver. Sophie Faure who wrote Manager a l’ecole de Confucius taught me quite a lot on this subject when she visited us in Mauritius, some time ago last year.

Understanding this hierarchy of criteria do shed light on cultural differences. For example, in the western world, bringing gifts to a counterpart that you meet for the first time in a business situation, could be seen as a form of unwarranted softener. Such an action could be wrongly interpreted. However, such practice in the East would be the norm. As “sentiments” are the highest criteria, it would be natural to start off an introduction with an exchange of gifts to arouse the feel good factor and to show welcoming & start off the sharing.

We are in the “bouillon de cultures”. We are thus able to see the fine lines of the cultural differences perhaps unconsciously. Finding founding explanations to these nuances helps us to act properly and consciously.

I am very interested in the East- West interaction. For a Chinese, I could be a banana. A term use by the Chinese to describe a Chinese brought up in a western culture: Yellow out side and White inside. I need to get better understanding of my unconscious eastern upbringing nurtured by my family environment. I consider my self not too much white inside. Understanding the culture differences and more importantly identifying the source of the difference is very useful & telling. I have read a comparison of Socrates & Confucius philosophies and would recommend it to you. I would also like to read a comparison of Indian and western philosophies to identify converging and diverging thinking.

Le bouillon de culture à la croisée des courants de l’orient et de l’occident, d’Afrique et de l’asie.