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SGTM 5 B

Attitudes & Behaviour
“Cultural Awareness”
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TES / Mil Div /

Structure of Presentation

What is Culture?
 Understanding Cultural differences
 Dealing with Cultural differences
 Case studies

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TES / Mil Div /

Culture
A shared system of
 meanings,
 beliefs,
 values
 behaviours
through which experience is
interpreted and carried out
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TES / Mil Div /

Culture Is ..
 Relative
 Learned
 Collective
 Changes

over time
 Complex responsive process

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TES / Mil Div /

Forces Shaping Individual
Culture
Urbanization

Nationalism

Colonisation

Migration
Minority
Experience

Personal
Culture
Values

Crosscultural
Adjustments

Industrialization
Social
background

World-views

Ethnic
background

Beliefs
Behaviours

Profession

Religion
Gender

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Education

Language

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Dangers!

Stereotypes

Prejudice

Ethno-centric perspectives

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TES / Mil Div /

Culture – In Peace Operations
Military – Military
(International)

CULTURE
Military – Civilians
(Organizational)

Civilians –
Civilians
(International)
International
actors Local
communities

Local
Communities
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TES / Mil Div /

Understanding Cultural
differences
Eating habits
 Asia

- chop sticks
 Europe - knife and fork
 Clean right hand in some
countries
 Common plate
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TES / Mil Div /

Understanding Cultural
differences
Eating habits
 Beef
 Pork
 Horse
 “Everything
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that moves”
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Understanding Cultural
differences
Eating habits
 Pork

not eaten by Muslims for
religious reasons
 Christians keep horses, dogs
and cats as pets
 Fish is neutral
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TES / Mil Div /

Understanding Cultural
differences
Religion
 Religion

– an important place in
many societies
 Knowledge of religion of host
nation very important
 Respect religious beliefs
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TES / Mil Div /

Understanding Cultural
differences
Family and Gender
 Elders

are highly respected in
some cultures
 Understand family ties
 Different gender beliefs and
views
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TES / Mil Div /

Understanding Cultural
differences
Communication
 Language

is culture specific
 Avoid use of idiomatic
expressions
 Humour
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TES / Mil Div /

Understanding Cultural
differences
Body Language
Gesture/body language have
different meanings
 Smile will never be misunderstood
 Polite handshake is accepted in most
cultures

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TES / Mil Div /

Understanding Cultural
differences
Dress Code
 Depends

on culture, customs,
traditions and climate
 Adapt to local customs

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TES / Mil Div /

Understanding Cultural
differences
Traffic
 Peacekeeper

die in traffic

accidents
 Different traffic conditions
 Respect local traffic laws
 Adapt to local conditions
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TES / Mil Div /

Understanding Cultural
differences
Time
 People

have different concept of

time
 Need to understand
 “You have the clock, we have the
time”
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TES / Mil Div /

Building Cultural Awareness

 Understand

your own culture
 Understand and accept logic of
other cultural frameworks
 Cultural differences as unique
and creative problem-solving
opportunity
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TES / Mil Div /

Host Country’s Culture

 Knowledge

of history, culture,
customs and traditions
 Background for the conflict
 Expectations from “Blue Berets”

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TES / Mil Div /

Cultural Shock
 Unfamiliar:

– Language
– Climate
– Currency
– Road signs
– Colleagues
 Adaptation
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process
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The Adaptation Stages

 Honeymoon
 Initial

confrontation
 Adjustment crisis
 Recovery

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TES / Mil Div /

The Adaptation Stages
STAGE

SITUATION

Honeymoon

First exciting
contact with
new culture

Initial
confrontation

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First intensive
feeling with
new culture

APPROACH

REACTION

Observe

Excitement;
Curiosity;
Slight
concern

Solve
problems in
familiar ways

Confusion;
Mystified
about;
Others
behaviour

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The Adaptation Stages
STAGE

SITUATION

Adjustment
crisis

Problems
intensify

Recovery

Sense of
belonging to
culture
emerges

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APPROACH

REACTION

Experimentation

with new
behaviours

New
strategies to
help one
function
effectively

Frustration;
Anger;
Confusion
about
New culture is
understandable
;
Enjoying many
aspect of it

TES / Mil Div /

Maintaining Good Relations

 Between

military and civilian
 With other military contingents
 Team work

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TES / Mil Div /

Cultural Awareness
“If you are
Humble
 Respectful
 Friendly

you will always be fine”
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TES / Mil Div /

Case Studies
 The

market place
 The toilet experience
 To walk hand in hand
 Movement control at the airport
 The gift

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TES / Mil Div /

Summary
Cultural awareness is increased by
giving you the most common
examples
 This is the first step to handle
cultural differences positively, avoid
conflicts due to misperception and to
make you interact positively with
host cultures

SGTM

TES / Mil Div /

Summary
Closely related to “Code of
Conduct”, where you get written
rules.
 In culture you may find few written
rules, but make sure, you know and
obey them

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TES / Mil Div /

Questions ?

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TES / Mil Div /