Friday, February 08, 2008

Criss Cross cultures

I had a really strange experience today. Someone asked if it was true that when English people used the term Asian they meant people from India or Pakistan. I was offended and said no! When I use the term Asia I mean people from Asian countries (Thailand, China, Malaysia etc.). But when other Brits were asked they replied that when they used the word Asian they did mean people from India or Pakistan.

It was then suggested that because I have been in New Zealand that maybe that had changed my perspective. That may be true but I suspect it is more to do with the fact that I have taken a few teams to Thailand over the last 5 years and how that has shaped my (still very limited) understanding of Asian cultures.

But it was disorientating to be asked how English people thought about something and to find that I can no longer speak to how English people think. I have been gone for two years now and been living in a different country which has shaped my understanding in various ways so I guess it was inevitable really, but disorientating none the less.

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