Saturday, February 20, 2021

10 Things I Like from Other Cultures

One of the things I miss most is traveling and learning more about other cultures. I was quite comfortable traveling around Southeast Asia, but when my work expanded I had to learn how more about other cultures to make sure I don't do anything disrespectful. Through the years I learned to adjust and there are things I started to like about other cultures. Here's a list of ten things I have picked up from my travels:

1. Hearty American greetings - being an introvert I normally prefer to wave or smile if I bump into someone, but Americans (and Australians too) usually give hearty greetings. I adjust whenever I'm in either country hehe. 

2. The quiet when commuting in Japan - I love commuting in Japan because everyone remains so quiet. They have areas in the train where you can go to if you absolutely need to be on the phone. I learned this from my Tita. I like the quiet because I use this time to let my mind wander and observe my surroundings. And one more thing I like about Japan is they follow a color scheme for every season! I learned this the hard way when I wore a bright red shirt during winter! I looked so odd across everyone who was wearing black and dark blue at an event and got scolded by my colleague. I had no idea back then haha. They all initially thought I was an eccentric person hahaha (I think I am anyway lol). 

3. Friday TGIF is serious business - I learned the hard way that Australians take Friday afternoons seriously. I was once there and was happily working one afternoon at the office. I noticed there was a lot of movement by 3pm, I thought people were just going to meetings. At around 4 I was surprised to find myself alone already haha. My Tita explained to me that Australians take off time really seriously and normally by 5pm they are already in pubs. 

4. Barbecue bonding - if in the Philippines we have inihaw, in Korea they have Korean BBQ. I like the communal way they cook and eat together. From experience they also cook bulgogi, chicken and other dishes together. Cooking and eating is a team effort! 

5. Love for bubble tea - this of course in Taiwan! This was automatically the first thing I did with my team. We bonded over bubble tea! It's just natural for everyone to want to drink bubble tea haha. 

6. Quilting is a hobby in Australia, the US and Japan (and a bit in Singapore) - it was my Mom who taught me how to quilt. This isn't a usual thing in the Philippines. I picked up the hobby again in Singapore and whenever I travel I'd always find time to check out local craft and fabric stores. In Australia I'm always able to pick up magazines and materials. I also discovered from my Nihongo sensei that quilting is a thing too in Japan. Love, love!

7. Home full of family - I've been to Pakistan and one thing I learned from my scout-brother there is their preference to have all their family live in the same house/compound. He brought us to his house and I was so surprised that he had his whole immediate family living with him. He said that it's common for them to do that and have multiple families living in the same house. 

8. Treating everyone like family - that's how I felt when I visited Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. I felt the warmth and welcome of everyone I met when I visited those countries. How I wish I could come back! 

9. Make sure no one goes hungry - everyone loves to eat across Southeast Asia. I always get asked, "Have you eaten?" when I'm in Indonesia, Malaysia or Thailand. Have you noticed that? I never go hungry when I'm visiting these countries teehee. 

10. Think community - I am truly amazed with how Singapore responded to the lockdown requirement when the pandemic hit last year. I listened live to PM Lee when the circuit breaker was announced and he appealed to everyone to think about the whole community. All measures were put in place to control the spread of the coronavirus and I have deep respect with how the whole country followed the policies that were put in place. Life is somehow normal here now because of how disciplined everyone was. 

Also super miss my friends across the region. I hope they are all doing well and I pray they are all safe. 

What about you? What are things you noticed that are cool about other cultures?

CB///317 #StuckAtHomeDay/347 #StayHome #BeKind 

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