This blog post was published on February 18 2005. §
Due to the very intersting reactions, I gave this post a push.
American soldiers in Iraq receive Cultural Smart Cards which, among other things, provide a series of “Do This” and “Don’t Do This” behaviors designed to avoid cultural misunderstandings. Some of these are quite obvious (e.g., “Never offer a Muslim alcohol or pork,” “Don’t engage in religious discussions”) others are less so (e.g., “Don’t make the ‘OK’ or ‘thumbs up’ signs; they are considered obscene,” “Don’t praise an Iraqi’s possessions too much. He may give them to you and expect something of value in return,” “Try all food offered to you, even if in small portions”). Go check them out and come back here again because the story is not finished yet.
What would a similar card look like for foreigners visiting the US?
–Try to Consume Coca Cola and McDonald’s Hamburger as much as possible for cultural integration reasons. I had to consume tons and tons of raw herrings in Holland for the same reason.
-“What’s up” can be a greeting. (learned it from the movies).