Definition/ Example used is a sentence please?
Culture shock exactly means the impact you may feel when you enter a culture very different from one to which you are accustomed.
Culture shock is common among immigrants and foreign students. No matter how well you are prepared, there are many things in a culture that you cannot find in books. This is not simply about meeting new and unexpected things, but also failing to meet what you would never have believed would be missing from any culture. Differences in nonverbal communication and unwritten rules play a large part.
Culture shock is a state of impaired ability to function due to 3 things -
The absence of familiar or comforting characteristics of one's own culture (Converse... this may be countered by absence of distasteful elements of one's home culture, although by definition this is unlikely)
The presence of seemingly irrational, inscrutable, offensive, or even hostile aspects of the target culture. (Converse... at first, culture shock is staved off by novelty and idealization of the target culture, and in some cases this artificial bubble of perception may be perpetuated indefinitely).
Lack of ability, linguistic or otherwise, to gain cultural understanding rapidly enough to adapt to these changes. (Converse... inability to understand may prevent you from becoming offended)
Whenever we experience we should reminded ourselves that ((many)) people with Autism feel ((suffer) this way constantly.
If one has been living in another country for a long time - noted the obvious differences, felt comfortable, then begun to realize there are other more fundamental, but subtle differences - finally they will learn that folks have different ways of solving the same challenges. The problem is then that one may suffer even more severe cultural shock upon returning home. In some places the cars are too large, the people too hurried, families are not extended anymore. In others, comfort is all consuming - and, for others economic growth trumps concern for the environment or sometimes even for the people. And then, when someone asks, "how was it in..." and you begin to answer, the questioner (if not another expatriate or wanderer) begins to glaze over - and, is soon talking to someone else.
The presence of the above criteria will generally bring on culture shock. One criterion alone may be sufficient if it is of enough significance to the individual.
There may be a special category of culture shock called culture fatigue (see below) in which one is able to adapt via all the criteria above, yet over an extended period of time suffers fatigue from the cumulative effect of having to negotiate large numbers of seemingly trivial differences over a period of time.
Culture shock can also be caused by a heightened level of social awareness referred to as "societal acuity deviation".
Culture shock can also happen when you take a culture for granted.
Real Culture Shock can happen in places you expect to be similar - it's the accumulation of tiny things that can tip you over the edge. Don't expect that it's just that there's snow, or that the buildings are taller. It's much, much deeper than that.
Culture Shock can also occur when changing jobs, even if you don't move. That is, corporate-culture shock. Throughout my career, I've worked in small companies (fewer than 100 people). Now I find myself with a company that employs over 1,500, working in a building that houses hundreds. I was deeply affected by the differences, even depressed. You Know Youre Ina Big Company When.
Culture Shock can occur in reverse, when you return from someplace quite foreign, to what should be home, but isn't. You have changed over the course of your stay in the other culture, and now your home culture seems out of place. It is much harder to adjust to, and can have greater impact on relationships and life outlook.
The result of culture shock is an impaired ability to adapt or function in the target culture. Culture shock is a barrier to socializing, learning, and generally functioning in the target culture.
Just recently, I was reminded that Ca is generally assumed to mean California in this wiki. Not that long ago, I discovered Canadians don't have Miranda rights. I know I speak Canadian (as opposed to American or English) but it's really easy to forget when you are in culture that generally feels familiar. And that's when you get really shocked!'' Do you mean that Canadians don't have the right to refuse interrogation without a lawyer present (and other related rights which were the subject of the US Supreme Court's decision in Miranda vs. Arizona), or are you simply observing that the Miranda decision, being handed down by the US Supreme Court, has no legal significance in Canada? If the latter, that seems obvious. :) If the former, that is surprising.
The former, since the latter really is obvious. I'll try to dig up some supporting legal references for this.
The applicable law in Canada is the Canada Evidence Act of 1985. It deals with many of the same issues as Miranda in the US, but there are notable differences. Clause 5 states that "No witness shall be excused from answering any question on the ground that the answer to the question may tend to criminate him,...". Canadian police do give a warning when someone is arrested, but it is not the same as the Miranda one in the US.
In Paris, when out for a morning walk you say "Bonjour!" to everyone you pass and get a cheery "Bonjour!" in return. Do that in New York and people will scurry away from you lest they be shot, importuned or molested.
Not surprising - saying "Bonjour!" in New York marks you as a foreigner
The same if you translate it; there are places where it is strange to talk to strangers, even for a simple "happy day" or similar, and there are places where it's common to address a "Bonjour" to stranger you meet walking around, and the effect is not a speed up because of the fear the person who is saying "good morning" is insane, or someone who wants to ask for money...
An example is that Asians consider it rude to meet gazes too long (longer than a second), however, it is just the opposite in some western countries. So when a westerner meets an Asian, the Asian thinks the westerner is rude, the westerner thinks the Asian is sneaky.
In India (and probably other former British colonies), "rubber" means the piece of rubber you use to erase pencil writings, usually known as "eraser" in the US. Unfortunately, "rubber" usually refers to condoms in the US. It is lucky that my Indian friend learned of this before he used it in class (he is a foreign student, with teaching duties). It is not that far-fetched that he might get sued for sexual harassment if he mentioned "rubber" to female students.
We were in an English bar, and my friend asked for a Johnny on the Rocks (Johnny Walker whiskey on ice). Well, the young woman bartender, probably new on the job, began ignoring us. After several minutes, I asked what was wrong. She said in England, a "Johnny" was a condom. She thought my friend was getting fresh with her! -- Bruce Pennington
"Johnny" would also be considered quite crude and juvenile reference most adults would just say condom or perhaps Durex. In a UK Bar "Getting Fresh" would often be assumed to refer to a refill in fresh (clean) glass. In other circumstances probably fresh food, rather than processed. -- Martin Spamer
While in high school, I spent time in the US an exchange student; I asked my classmate next to me if I could "borrow a rubber". He handed me a condom. I thanked him and said I'd give it back when I was finished with it. Then I asked for an eraser.
We went to university in England for a while, and one day a fellow student came into my husband's lab and said he saw a professor running down the hall with a Winchester. My husband was ready to hit the deck, but no one else seemed concerned. It turned out that a Winchester is a large flask in England, not a rifle as it is here in America!
This is indeed a great info for me. I'm an Indian. Thanks for the invaluable info that can save me some money (in case I'm sued). -- Madhu
Madhu is usually a girl's name in India, though in about 10% of the cases this is the name (or a part of the first name, such as Madhusoodan) of a guy also. So the previous comment (about your being sued for mentioning rubber to female students) may or may not be relevant. -- Pradyumn Sharma
More culture shock, even perhaps about one's own country. I believe whether Madhu is a male or female name depends quite a bit on on which part of India you are in.
Interesting, indeed. So in Indian culture the propriety of Madhu's comment above about something relating to sexuality depends upon gender?
A woman who talks to a woman about rubbers is not the same as when a man does the same.
This 'Rubber' example..isn't it stolen from a movie "American Desi".
Don't know about the film, but I know it happened. I should know: I was there.
Great memories about rubber/eraser terminology. My first week out of the USA and into a school in India, (8th class), the History teacher did not approve of the very amateur free-hand map I had drawn of India. To correct it, he instructed me to bring him a rubber, a straight-edge, and a blade. When I repeated the list to my seat mate, I was handed what I would have termed: an eraser, a ruler, and a razor blade!
One of the first shocking lessons I learned as a diplomatic trainee was that you mustn't cross your legs when sitting in front of another diplomat. If you're smiling at what might seem a cliché, forget it: I'm a male and dress like one. So why, then? Because you can't tell if the person sitting in front of you is a Muslim, and you risk to expose to him/her the soles of your shoes, an extremely rude action because, to Muslims, they are very impure objects (not to mention looking like you're not listening enough, not agreeing, shifted opinions without saying it in words, or looked too causal for diplomacy. It all depends on the culture of the other person).
In India, sitting with legs crossed is considered as a sign of disrespect to others. My Mom pinches my leg when I sit in such a posture.
Went on a business trip to Amsterdam one time. Enjoyed myself there (and no, I didn't do that). However, the one thing I missed about the United States during my stay? Ice water. Tap water there is vile; bottled water is expensive and usually mineral water. Ice? Forget it. Of course, the fact that beer was cheaper than water was a good excuse to drink more beer...
"vile" might be culturally tinted. In all West European countries tap water quality by far outpasses bottled water quality, per regular independent consumer organizations reports. And about 800 times cheaper than bottled water. Unfortunately, they abandoned the long standing habit of honouring guests with (free)fresh water.
In the East Yorkshire area of England most water comes from chalk aquifer making it very hard and sweet tasting. In other other parts of the UK being Hard would be short hand for being as hard as nails meaning being physical intimidating. This difference is recognised and often leads to quips and one lines about even the Water is hard in Yorkshire.
Not sure what this long standing habit means, but in Sweden there's usually a pentry in the office, with tea mugs and free coffee, chocolate, heated tap water and tea bags. And in most cities, local alcohol regulations make sure that restaurants with an alcohol license offer water for free. Tap water costs around EUR 0.5/m^3 whereas bottled water costs around EUR 1/(1/2)l, so the tap water is actually about 4000 times cheaper.
Given their universality in New Zealand, I suspect there is some sort of clause in the Employment Act that requires an office supply of tea, coffee, and sundry makings - oh, and a microwave oven. Certainly, the law requires employers to provide potable water on tap.
To me, greeting people with a warm handshake is both friendly and polite. The first time I met some clients from California (I think they are Italian descent), they came up to me, hugged me hard and kissed both cheeks (the ones on my face, not the ones I sit with ;p ). I really was momentarily paralyzed. Not only was my personal space invaded, they also TOUCHED me!!! But my boss told me that's their way of expressing friendliness, and it only happens for the first time when people met, so that's okay. -- Menger Subscribes
I can tell you definitively that this is not a result of cultural practices in California in general, it's more likely Italian, although about 1% of the population are "huggers" who might do that if they felt especially friendly towards someone they just met (and hugging is moderately common amongst friends). Even they, however, would not kiss your cheeks. That is a European tradition (in some areas), so the "Italian descent" part of your story doubtless is the key issue.
I am italian and if someone I don't know hugs me and kiss my cheeks I would feel rather embarassed, maybe except if the person is a nice girl... It happens anyway one can kiss both cheeks of a person s/he has just known the same day, but at the very end, when leaving, and more frequently female-male and female-female, less often male-male (it sounds homofobic but sometimes it happens so). And, btw, expecially among male, it is not a kiss, is just a cheek-to-cheek touching, while holding hands, not hugging in any case. However the behaviour changes from person to person, and it is not considered rude if you do not do that.
As a resident of the state for 20 years, the hugs and kisses are a bit much. It is definitely not a Californian thing. Now surfing on the other hand... ;-)
Hugging is a quite common thing in my circle of friends (German), but I learned on several schooltrips, that these kisses are the normal way to greet each other in France. First I was surprised, but after some days you'll learn to cope with it. And in the end I miss this nice gesture somewhat. People just like each other, isn't that nice?
Clichés are often exaggerated versions of Culture Shock. One cliché is that cheating on your wife is very French, getting caught is very American, and keeping your politeness and apparent cool when you learn your wife cheats is very British. But there is a French subculture than believes in sharing wives, an American subculture that believes in selling them, and a British subculture that believes in not caring at all because they're way too high on heroin. Sometimes the subcultural shock of your own culture is overwhelming... and there is almost always another subculture in your culture that does the opposite, if you're willing to search long enough...
Well, I don't know when or where it started; but here in Brazil hugging and kissing in the face when you meet someone is very normal AND repeated every time you re-encounter the person and (also) when you say good bye (it express friendship, and doesn't have sexual connotation). Well, Russians and some Muslim families kiss in the mouth (BUT ONLY TO THEIR YOUNG KIDS), so what's the problem? We (Brazilians) were colonized by the Portuguese in 1500, but we received along our history a lot of immigrants from all over the world; mainly Africans (who did not immigrate on their free will...), Italians, Germans, Christian Middle-Easterners (mainly from Syria and Lebanon at the time of the Ottoman Empire - thank God we did not get the Muslim crowd...(Less racism please, I really had a better opinion of Brazilians before reading this - comment from Elchin)), Dutch, Greeks, and Japanese. All these races intermixed, some even with the dwindling native Indian ** Aha! another slip here... Indians? Indians? They are really native Brazilians, amerindians, or aborigenes...an Indian is someone from India ** cultures (well, today amerindians in Brazil represents little more than .2% (200,000 in 180 million) [Eh? That would be 0.1%.] of the population, and their historical influence is negligible - being neolithic cultures, they were a far cry from the advanced cultures found by the Europeans in Mesoamerica and the Andean Region of South America, when they happen to stumble on the continent in the 16th century. "Brazilian culture", if that exists is just a mishmash of different cultures, with wide regional variation, and quite hard to pinpoint (I'm writing only about hugging and kiss in the face, right?) - one must read Gilberto Freire's socio-anthropological works to have an idea of what made this society - one thing can be said though - tolerance and an anything goes attitude - characteristics that let many, e.g. Charles De Gaulle when visiting Brazil, say "This is not a serious country" (Il nést pas un pays serieux...).
The social behavior studied in this post is really very normal here, but I know about culture shock; so I never do it when I meet a stranger (at least in a first moment, when he/she is not used to living here). Once, I read in a magazine an interview with a Brazilian working at Microsoft USA (I forgot the city) as a manager, talking about his life and culture shock. He said that when he worked here in Brazil (in Microsoft, also) he used to friendly kiss his workers in the face; but if he did that in the USA he could get into legal trouble. Personally, I prefer living here. Also be careful with the OK sign delivered by by circling your thumb and index fingers... in Brazil it means "up yours", the equivalent of the extended middle finger in the US.
In Argentina, the usual way of greeting among friends and family is a kiss on the cheek, too. In the last years, even guys greet each other with a kiss (older or more old-fashioned men still prefer a handshake). Hugs or shoulder pats are often part of the greeting. When I moved to Spain a few months ago, I first imagined that because people here usually give two kisses, one on each cheek, people were even warmer, however, it's not so: men certainly DON'T kiss each other, and many times when you meet someone for the first time a handshake is given, unlike the usual kiss given in Argentina when you're introduced to someone of a similar rank (a handshake is given, though, if you meet someone way beyond your position).
Drinking Mate, an Argentine custom is also a cross-cultural challenge. You drink the tea from a gourd or special cup, with a metal straw that has a filter to keep the tea leaves out as you suck up the liquid. It is a social drink, so you drink yours, pour some more water on and pass it along, you would be rude if you didn't. Try to do that here and the tension, well, it's better not to ask if someone wants some. It is so great to sit around with 4 or 5 people and drink Mate, and it's been a long time since I've done it.
Kissing Russians is one more cliché. I think this cliché has been launched by the USSR president Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev (1906-1982) - he always kissed his visitors. - Dmitry
I'm Russian, and no, Russians do not usually kiss in the mouth just to express friendliness when they meet.
Don't ever kiss an Indian.... There is no such provision for kissing a person to greet him or her. It is considered as a sexual act.
You can even experience culture shock within very similar cultures. I've learned that Serbians kiss each other 3 times, Croatians, 2 times, by kissing my Croatian friend. She said that's how you recognize whether somebody is from Serbia or not. I think that the reason for kissing 3 times has to do with general preference for odd numbers in Serbia; for instance, you should never bring even number of flowers to your host, therefore, you'd always kiss an odd number of times.
I disagree with this last implication. In Hungary, what to the number of flowers the same rule applies as in Serbia (remember, neighbouring country) but kisses come in pair (remember, Croatia is neighbouring and, probably, it has a catholic tradition. I think triples of kisses is a pravoslavic custom).
Ethiopians (in Israel) also kiss three times. At least, that is. More to show extra friendliness. Might also have to do with respect (as in for elders), not merely friendliness. My family came from Chile, so I take all this kissing business lightly. :o)
Interesting. I thought that bringing an even number of flowers as a no-no was an international thing! I'm from Croatia, BTW -- Ivan Stojic
People in Croatia kiss once or twice, and people in Serbia kiss three times. Indeed, it has it's origin in religious traditions. People in orthodox christianity are making the sign of a cross with three fingers put together (although I am not sure that is the only meaning conected with the number 3), and people in Croatia follow the western tradition of two fingers (victory, peace, etc.) and never make the sign of a cross with three fingers. The custom of bringing an odd number of flowers to your host, and an even number only to funerals, is international.
In the US, most of the time we buy flowers by the dozen, and twelve is definitely an even number. I had never heard of the "even/odd" customs until I read about them here, and I'm a reasonably educated American, 50 years of age!
In Japan it is the custom to bow when greeting, or nod your head to strangers you make eye contact with. When meeting someone very important to show respect you should bow lower than them and pause for a moment with your head down.
Similar cultures: I remember back in my schooldays in New Zealand when an English immigrant teacher started one year. He'd stand in front of his desk before the class. For the first day or two he'd start to lean back against it, and eventually end up sitting on it. Only for the first couple of days, before (I guess) one of the other staff clued him in that planting your bum on the surface where you do your work was a bit rude.
In Greece, for example, smiling when you meet someone for the first time appears as a weakness. Many Greeks think that Americans smile too much and therefore are weak, and many Americans think that the Greeks are too stoic!! This is the opinion of a American of Greek descent, GB Tselentis.
I am Nigerian and have never been out of the country, so I've never really experienced culture shock first hand. But I have observed from watching American movies that there's usually nothing wrong in saying "Hi" as a greeting to people much older than you (e.g parents), calling the first names of grown ups and shaking the hands of very old people (or people far older than you) as a form of greeting. For example, a thirteen year old brings his schoolmate home to meet his parents. On meeting them, the schoolmate says "Hi Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, I'm pleased to meet you!". In Nigerian culture, this would be considered as the ultimate height of disrespect for his friend's parents. However, the influx of western culture is gradually changing this cultural behaviour thereby causing certain "modern" families these days to accept the scenario the American way by not finding such behaviour offensive. While this change has come to stay, it is worthwhile to also point out (for contrast) that in the Yoruba culture of Western Nigeria, girls are required to kneel down and bow while boys are required to prostrate fully on the ground while greeting elders. Anything other than this is considered unthinkable :D
Hi there, unfortunately I know only little about Nigerian culture, but as I read what you wrote, it made me very happy to know there are still places in the world where respect is shown to people who REALLY deserve it. I think, just the fact (speaking about older people) that G-d gave them so many years, deserves respect. I feel very sad, when I have to see all those little boys and girls who make fun of each other or exclude somebody from society just because he or she stood up in the bus for an elder person. By the way, I am Jewish, in our religion respect towards parents plays a very important role. One is not to sit in his/her father's place and has to stand up once parents come into the room. please tell me more about different cultures and customs.
By comparison, a child here in Sweden greeting a friends parents like the one in that example would be considerred excessively polite by most. I don't know if american children really behave like that or if it's just a idealization in a Hollywood movie, but it's still interessting to note.
Another form of Culture Shock is how people go out of their way to see human characteristics in animals and yet treat people of other cultures like they are animals. -- JPS
Culture Shock can be things like how you react when you brush against someone accidentally when walking down the street. In some places you ignore it, in some places you throw a casual "sorry" over your shoulder and carry on, in others you turn, make eye contact, apologize, then return to your walk. If you're accustomed to the first of these and find someone doing the second it feels horribly intrusive. The other way around means people seem unbelievably rude.
Try attending the sexual harassment orientation sessions for foreign TAs in a university (in US) with many foreign students, you may experience some Culture Shock when the lawsuit-happy situation of the US culture is made explicit. Your statement will definitely be included in the Possible Sexual Harassment list, other things to avoid includes prolonged stares for whatever reason, being alone with student of opposite sex for any length of time. - from someone who has attended such sessions.
It's not just the lawsuit-happy culture; it's also the fact that behavior which passes for normal in other countries is considered unacceptable here. I can think of colleagues (and ex-colleagues) who came from Europe who needed several explanations from Human Resources that "harass" is one word in the US and not two... :);
Many businessmen I know who travel to Asia prefer to use Asian-based airlines rather than US-based ones. Why? In the US, anti-discrimination laws prohibit airlines (or any employer) from discriminating against flight attendants (or any other employee) based on appearance. IIRC, one airline a few years ago tried justifying a "fitness clause" (no overweight flight attendants) based on the need to minimize the weight of planes during flight, and got the snot sued out of them by the flight attendants' union. Many foreign-owned airlines don't operate under such restrictions - hiring only attractive women is seen as a legitimate and legal business practice - and as a result only employ flight attendants who are (ahem) "aesthetically appealing".
Why do those anti-discrimination laws not apply to, for examples, actresses? [Because, actresses are working for artists (writers, directors and producers) and how can anyone dictate what the artist(s) sees as the intention of their art?]
Because civil rights legislation allows exemptions if discrimination is because of a "bona fide occupational qualification". (Google that phrase for more.) In acting jobs appearance, including gender, is material to job performance and so is allowed.
Add "Uranus" to the list of possible misunderstandings... -- Erwin
I'm living in rural Japan now. I think a lot of the culture shock here has more to do with the ways that Japan seems so close to American culture, yet so far. So, it's a modern country with electric lights - but the light switches are a different style than US ones.
Finding that everywhere you go in the United States the light switches are all installed upside down. You walk in, reach to the side in the dark (at least the switch is still in the right place) and brush it downwards at it to turn it on - only to find that it is already in the "on" position. It's more distracting than finding that people drive on the other side of the road.
Solution There is no solution to culture shock except to try to learn the culture, and the way to do that is to watch and listen while withholding judgment for a while. Be careful of what you say and do, because it is easy for others, not knowing your culture, to misunderstand you. In time, you will learn the other culture and then you can participate at ease.
Other Similar culture shock may be experienced in this wiki, especially for people used to other moderated mediums, such as blogs, usenet, mailing lists or Slash Dot.
Think of this wiki as writing on the sand. Ward is kind enough to open this beach to us, you can write practically anything you want, but others are free to move it, edit it or even delete it. You can delete anything you want, but others may restore just as fast. Just be glad that there is no wind or tide.
Do not take offense if someone deletes your writings, because none may be intended. Perhaps your writing just doesn't fit the page it is in, or perhaps others think they do not belong here. There are social norms in this wiki that are difficult to state explicitly.
You just have to watch and learn.
Examples of Culture shock
When you graduate from college and realize the hard way that people skills are at least as important as technical knowledge. (Extra emphasis should be put on this. Some would argue that people skills and communication are "the" most important. Many young graduates really are way unprepared for this.) Education Has Failed Us
I live in the southern US. I was born and raised here. I've been experiencing culture shock over the last decade or so due to the influx of yankees.
The above leaves an impression that is simplistic, similar to people believing that Jet Lag is basically just being tired from not getting enough sleep.
Real Jet Lag is about changes in body rhythm.
real Culture Shock is not just about things being different.
I thought the examples gave a decent sense of what we're talking about. But if you don't, why not illuminate the rest of us instead of just stating that "real Culture Shock is not just about things being different"?
Funnily enough, I had a momentary sense of being Somewhere Foreign due to a change in latitude, rather than longitude. Evening came on so suddenly, the sun set at such a steep angle, and night fell so quickly that I thought for a moment I'd passed out or something (and before you ask, I'd only moved one time zone west so there wasn't any appreciable jet lag involved).
This state could be described as an intermediary state between a new comer and an adapted individual. In the beginning, one doesn't know what it means to belong to the culture. At the opposite, the adapted have no problems understanding the culture (no questions about the choices he makes in regards to everyday challenges - e.g. pro, contra or neutral to the culture). In between these two states - new or adapted, one goes through a mental and sometimes physical pain trying to understand and control to a certain level what is going around. The end of this state is reached gradually, after one paid a lot of attention to the people and things around, and eventually understood the ranking of values and the ways one can achieve them.
I'd avoid "belonging" to a culture. Not all people who adapt to a culture ever belong to it. Some people rise above their animalistic tendencies to become autonomous individuals with real personalities.
The best way to avoid culture shock is to accept that every culture has its own way of understanding things, and it all comes with evolution. You cannot expect every human being to be the same.
''Just to add in a few more examples I learned from working on the MSE (Masters of Software Engineering) program at Carnegie Mellon University, which typically has only a small percentage of American students:
Many cultures feel it is rude to ask questions in class
Similarly, many cultures may feel it rude to bring up issues or to directly contradict you in meetings (we had particular problems with one of the Indians (yes, from India) on our team)
Conversely, the Brazilian on our team loved to argue and thought that a shouted argument was the only way to properly debate a topic. If you weren't raising your voice, you weren't really interested in the discussion.
This is probably obvious for international people, but there are a lot of Indian dialects, most of which are unintelligible to each other, so don't expect your Indian teammates to be able to communicate in anything but English and maybe Hindi. Also, while the caste system has been formally abolished, there are still remanants and there may be bad blood between teammates as a result (although my experience was that it's still primarily the formerly upper-caste families that have their children go into Computer Science)''
-Isn't this stereotyping? So, all Brazilians do this? Maybe you should phrase it: "one Brazilian" or "a Brazilian in our team". I am Brazilian AND reserved but this unfortunate stereotype has made it very difficult for me to express my opinions in any group settings as people often assume that if they give me the chance I will dominate the entire discussion. Not all Brazilians are the same!
My x Viet GF once quietly told me not to enter their kitchen. Of course I divined they'd snagged some almost-developed chicks & were licking the muscles off their bones.
Many years later, I heard on the inter-age the story of a little blond 10yo Denise the Menace type, with his yuppie mom, in a remote rural diner. "What'l it be?"
The boy in a perfectly sepulchral voice gravels "I want to consume the unborn."
His mom rescues the scene: "Eggs. He wants eggs."
See original on c2.com