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Custom Cultural Gestures Essay

Culture can be defined as a pattern of enduring characteristics that differentiate one society from another. These characteristics include values, beliefs, attitudes, customs, traditions, morals and ethics. The most important characteristics of culture are: (1) it can be regarded as a learned behavior as it is passed on by parents to their children. These values are instilled in children from the very beginning and they guide and shape their attitudes and behaviors. (2) Culture consists of different elements and all these elements are interrelated and they have an influential impact on each other. (3) Culture changes with the changes in external factors that a society faces. It is adaptive and hence adjusts with these changes. (4) Cultural values are shared by each and every member of the society therefore culture represents the members of the society. Hence people sharing same values are the members of a same society and those who do not share those values are not the members of that society.

Difference between Saudi and Japanese Culture

Japanese Culture:

Japan is an East Asian island with distinctive cultural values. Japan’s culture developed as a result of an extended feudal rule. The unique characteristics of Japanese culture involve; Sumo wrestling, Samurai values, Noh theatre etcetera. Japanese culture went through a major destruction during World War II but Japan flourished once again and it has now made great economical advancements and has established itself as an influential part of the world economy.

Saudi Culture:

Saudi Arabia ranks twelfth in world’s largest countries and it covers most of the area of the Arabian Peninsula. Saudi culture is very ancient and it roots 1400 years back in history. Muslim era started in 7th century when Prophet Mohammad gathered Muslims to capture Mecca in the name of Islam from that date onwards Muslim culture kept on spreading and it captures most of the parts of Arabian Peninsula. In early times this culture made major contributions in the field of science, literature and art.

The major differences between Saudi and Japanese culture are listed below:

Religion:

Japanese religion is a combination of Buddhism and Shinto. This religion does not have any known founder and it has many gods. The main emphasis of this religion is the relationship between man and nature. All of Japanese emperors are considered as sons of gods. The religious festivals, nowadays, are celebrated as a social tradition in Japan. About one percent of the Japanese population is Christian.

Islam is the only officially practiced religion in Saudi Arabia. It is the place where Prophet Mohammad was born and the two most sacred states in Islam, Macca and Madinah, are also present there. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter these places. Every year millions of Muslims come to Saudi Arabia to perform pilgrimage. All of the citizens of Saudi Arabia are Muslims and they are prohibited from joining any other religion.

Greetings:

Japanese usually greet each other with a bow. The person who wants to show more respect bows lower than the other person. With foreigners Japanese prefer a handshake. Titles are important in Japan and family name with the word “san” is used in the process of introduction. First name is usually reserved for family and friends.

Saudis usually greet each other by a handshake with right hand and the phrase “Assalam o Alaikum” (peace be upon you). If a man is with a woman wearing a veil he will not introduce her and she will not be expected to shake hand with the other man.

Eating:

Youth in Japan can eat snacks while walking on the road but it is considered inappropriate for adults. If adults want to have snacks they eat them while standing on the food stand. While having traditional meal Japanese hold their bowl at the level of their chest and they do not bend down. Chopsticks are used widely for eating. For eating western food western utensils are used. People have main meal in evening because they work very late and have dinner in office or on their way home.

In Saudi Arabia people use the fingers of their right hand for eating. They are very hospitable and they enjoy making a lot of food for their visitors.

Family:

Families build the foundation of Japanese culture. They are bound together by a sense of responsibility and honor. A family member’s action has an impact on the reputation of the entire family. The father is the head of family and mother is responsible for the household chores. Previously it was considered improper for women to work outdoors but now it is a usual practice. In cities families live in flats and small houses whereas large houses are found in areas with low population.

Saudi Arabian culture is dominated by man but in house hold affairs women are more dominating. Families are very important in Saudi culture. Women’s actions are guided by law. Males are responsible for protecting the dignity and honor of their women. Men and women have separate working areas and women are not allowed to socialize with men and they are usually accompanied by a male member of the family. Women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to ride bicycles and cars.

The major differences between Japanese and Saudi culture have been highlighted above. These cultures also have some differences in their dressing styles, gestures, business ethics and communication as well. All these differences differentiate one country from the other and give them their own distinctiveness and uniqueness.

Custom Cultural Gestures Essay

Code: Sample20

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