Cultural Sensitivity - The ability to adjust one’s perceptions, behaviors, and practice styles to effectively meet the needs of different ethnic or racial groups…
Is that very difficult to understand?? I mean… just showing some respect for others’ culture and language….
Now how complicated is that? All you need to do when that happens is to keep your mouth shut or at least not say anything derogatory or offensive or nasty…
But nopes… that’s not bound to happen is it…!?!? People have to be bias towards someone because of the way they talk, their styles, their way of living or just simply the place that they come from… how cheesy can that be??? Sheesh!!!
We had a course during our MBA called “Business Across Cultures”… where in it was drilled to us that we have to be culturally sensitive to all sorts of people from various backgrounds… but somehow it never told us how to deal with culturally insensitive people…
What do u do?? Do u just keep quiet? Do you walk away? Do you tell them what’s on your mind precisely? Or do you just “give it back to them and tell them to go take a hike?” .. Especially when they are people from your organization? From your higher-ups? From people you think are your friends? From people whom you consider mature, sensible and sane???
I am out here in a different state… trying to adjust myself to a whole new different language… a whole new set of customs and traditions and what not!!! Forget the fact that it is in the south of India from where you hail from yourself…!!! And in my case… a Tamilian born and brought up in Kerala… I take gibes for both Tamilians and Malayalees….!!! And this from people whom are way senior than me and are considered to be the epitome of wholesome goodness… Whoa!!!
You know what the worst part is… when u go out with ur team (all of ‘em telugu’s) and then they start talking in their mother-tongue… and hey!! I practically have to shout out that am there too!! And I am a part of their team as well..!! And well I would like to be a part of whatever discussion they are having…!! Hmmm… but more often than not I keep mum.. Because am tired of pointing out that I don’t understand their language and that it takes time for me to follow!! And well.. When I talk with my friends in Malayalam or Tamil, I am again subjected to taunts.. That I am in their land and I should not talk anything other than Telugu… I mean how trite is that??
So now how is it gonna resolve the issue?? I have started listening closely in the conversations.. for hey! Telugu is nothing but another south-indian language and well.. I will master it for sure… in fact even sooner than I think ‘coz if I can master Malayalam and Tamil then telugu is no great shakes..!!
“Enti… emantaav…? nenu correct ga cheppaana…. ;-)"
And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.. :P