Posted: April 10th, 2015

Cultural Patterns

Cultural Patterns

The Final Project allows you to investigate a culture and analyze its unique foundations and communications needs.  Utilizing the tools you have acquired, the insight from your readings and preliminary work, you provide a comprehensive analysis of an intercultural situation and synthesize an approach to effective intercultural communication.  You can use this process in a variety of personal and professional scenarios.  As you apply this process in your communication praxis, you distinguish yourself as one who understands and applies intercultural communication principles productively.
To Prepare for Part 4 of your project:

Review Week 3 Final Project Paper and recall your communication predictions based on Hall’s Hofstede’s, and the GLOBE taxonomies.  What turned out to be true about your prediction?  What did not seem to be true?  What do your findings mean in terms of individual cultural patterns and general cultural patterns?

Review following sections
An Overview of Cultural Patterns – Chapter 4
Cultural Patterns and Communication Taxonomies – Chapter 5
Verbal Codes and Intercultural Competence – Chapter 7
Contexts for Intercultural Communication in Chapter 11
After reviewing the texts consider the following:
How can you use the concepts to explain your intercultural communication experience?
What stories from your intercultural interaction demonstrate these concepts?
How did you react to cultural differences that you encountered?
How has this experience helped you to understand more about yourself in intercultural communication situations?
4 to 5 page paper in which we:
1-Describe in detail three or four instances during the study that were particularly memorable or meaningful for you and demonstrated intercultural communication challenges or differences.  Include the cultural patterns and communication styles that surfaced.
2-Explain your perceptions and reactions to these instances based on the application of the BASIC and D-I-E tools.
3-Explain how your knowledge and skills developed in this course can apply to effective intercultural communication practice.
4-Explain how intercultural competence gained in this course applies to effective intercultural communication practice in personal and professional situations.
In addition revise all parts of your Final Project based on Instructor feedback and compile it into one single document.
(Project 1) Wedding Rituals in India and the Southern United States

This topic was selected for its unique, and esthetic value since no culture mimics the wedding rituals and events of India. Their cultural beliefs, values, and norms are specific in their religion and ancient practices. Weddings are the most important event in one’s lifetime so are performed with sanctity. Their religion’s beliefs are that once the couple marries they are together for life. The extended families of both the bride and groom play a vital role in the entire event. There are numerous pre-wedding celebrations, and ceremonies, post-wedding ceremonies and finally actual wedding celebrations, and rituals.
Indian weddings are the unique cultural events to research and teach us their culture. Their beliefs and performances follow many dogmas, rituals and performances that offer a rich insight. In comparing the weddings from India and the Southern Region of the United States, there is a high potential for me to learn the cultural differences between our two countries.  It can create a better understanding, responding to and displaying appropriate behavior of all aspects of their traditions, language, and rituals. India has a diversity in a varied array of languages, traditions and weddings (Slideshow 2012; Indian weddings N.d.). My desire to learn what composes their marriages, in preference venue, most important part of the wedding and how sacred the ceremony has been fulfilled. Also I expected to learn at what point the unionization of the bride and groom is considered finalized and complete.
A powerful message is there in the beauty and art of these weddings. The Bride wears brightly colored clothing that is determined by her skin color. On the wedding day
Wedding Rituals in India and the Southern United States
the bride and groom, in Hindu fashion, take the seven vows known as Saptadi that means prosperity and happiness. The initial ceremony, Tilak, is held one month prior to the marriage. the engagement ceremonies are elaborate and opulent with ornate dress. Next is the Sangeet ceremony that is all dance and music, and only for the women. Another custom and ritual is the Mehndi, that is an exciting pre-wedding ceremony, beauty and elegance are the great loves of Indian culture. The Var Mala ceremony is a primary wedding day ceremony, exchanges of garlands between the bride and groom. The most valuable service, Mandap, performed on the day of the marriage includes all the significant rituals. The last service is the Reception, with a lengthy time of food, dancing and enjoying family and guests.
Southern weddings have a beauty all their own and are solely for love.  They are normally elaborate ceremonies consisting of long-held traditions, rituals, and cultural values. An age old ritual is for the bride to have “Something Old, Something new, Something Borrowed and Something Blue, finally a new penny is put either in the bride’s garter or shoe.” The Bride usually wears a white dress that is indicative of purity and virginity. Tradition dictates the bride does not see the groom, nor can he see the wedding dress before the wedding, the tradition is it would mean “bad luck.” The veil is covering her face as she walks down the aisle on her father’s arm.  The father then gives her over to the groom, and he takes the veil away from her face. The Minister performs a traditional ceremony as chosen by the couple. The engagement is usually one year prior to the wedding; that year is taken to plan for the traditional marriage.

Wedding Rituals in India and the Southern United States
Typically the services are in the Church, Protestant or Catholic, with family and guests of both parents attending. Bridesmaids, Matron of Honor, Groomsmen, Best Man, Ring Bearers and Flower Girls are in attendance.  The night before the wedding, a Dinner is held, hosted by the groom’s parents, for the wedding party only. Elaborate food and wedding cake are at the reception after the marriage. The fathers of the bride and groom give the first toast, then Matron of Honor and Best Man. The couple has the first dance and the second with her father. Both bride and groom cut the cake at that time.  Afterward the bride throws her bouquet of flowers over her shoulder, and the unmarried women in the group hope to catch it since this means they will be next.
A comparative in the similarities of the Weddings from India and the Southern United States is now both marry for love.  Previously India was noted for their arranged marriages as they felt love could come at a later time.  Authoritative parents still prefer to arrange their children’s marriages as they will not accept marriage for love alone. It is not allowed to marry out of their culture. Southern Weddings are one-day affairs while India goes on for days even after the marriage.
The Indian ritual has sixteen adornments for the bride from head to toe to make the bride beautiful.   The Southern ritual is to get hair, makeup, nails done on the wedding day, and then put some adornment on the head, either a veil or flowers or crown. The Indian culture has ladies only dancing, plus men only dancing for entertainment time, and Southerners have a Bachelor or Bachelorette party the night prior to the wedding. There are many similarities; some of the differences are in the time
Wedding Rituals in India and the Southern United States
and the length of the rituals, traditions and values of the culture. Interesting that the majority of the United States wedding traditions were originally from the European traditions. Weddings in India, due to traditional rituals, are done during the night for its symbolic significance.  Symbolic because the bride and groom are too decend saat pheras steps. Southern marriages usually begin morning, noon or evening and may proceed throughout the entirety of the day. Indian culture does not participate in the aspect of the honeymoon. The honeymoon is present in the South lasting approximately one to two weeks.  Southern weddings are highly organized.
To give insight for my Final Project this comparison presented an understanding that involvement of religion, wedding ceremonies are bound to be different.  Various rituals considered important in Indian ritual unification of the bride and groom are considered highly irrelevant in the South.  Weddings by Southerners are highly organized and take one day as compared to India. What an excellent insight for understanding and researching the cultures of the world. . It has made me more aware when listening to the news, and doing research to assist in understanding the history and workings of European cultures.
Lustig Myron w & Koester Jolene, Interpersonal Communication Across Cultures (7th ed) Pearson Publishers
This focused on intercultural communication competence.  Learning the importance of knowledge, motivations and skills.
Indian Weddings, (n.d.), Wedding Customs around the world: north and south Indian weddings.  Retrieved from
This website gives an intricate and succinct depiction of the main differences in the manner of conduction and preferences of India.
Slideshare, (2012), South & north Indian marriage customs.  Retrieved from
http://www.slideshare,net/MaheshKumar35/south-norht-Indian-marriage-customsThis power point presentation in Slideshare shows the major customs giving attention by the Indian communities in the north and south of India are stated and compared.

Competence in Intercultural Globe Taxonomies (Project 3)

Intercultural competence is the skill and knowledge that facilitates effective interaction between people (KLustig & Koester p 204).  The communication is inclusive of people from different geographic groups, nationality, culture, religions, and ethnic groups.  The useful knowledge in intercultural competency enables organizations, individuals and groups to interact successfully during the social and business meetings globally. The curiosity of learning and being sensitive to different culture globally is essential because it indicates we are respectful and have concern.  In obtaining knowledge we will be able to modify our behavior to conform to a particular culture, this factor facilitates effective interaction with different peoples.  Therefore, my paper will discuss an understanding of varied cultures and its importance in social life.
Different steps and approaches are used to acquire intercultural competence during the learning process, I first identified different cultures globally.  The next I took in learning their social practices, norms, values and beliefs, a factor that enabled me to divide them based on their values and social practices.  “After the classification, I learned them by relating to each other, thus enhancing my understanding of intercultural differences.  The learning process enabled me to appreciate the varied cultures globally and this factor facilitates change of behavior. It gives us the knowledge to interact effectively with people from various cultural backgrounds.
Each person has their manner of interacting and learning about various cultures.  On the other hand, during the study some cultures had scarce information and the people who belong to that culture are not friendly making it difficult to gather more information.  These are some of the challenges that are likely to encounter during the learning process.  However, with self-

Competencies in Intercultural Globe Taxonomies
determination and consistency, we will be in the position of attaining the required skills and knowledge that will enhance the interaction process.
The knowledge of intercultural competence is necessary for the business environment because it improves the negotiation skills and communication among different cultures in the international community.  Due to cultural taxonomies in the GLOBE, the company or individual must create a friendly environment during the interaction.  The knowledge of different values and norms associated with cultures in the community is necessary. Studies indicate that people create road blocks during  the interaction due to lack of knowledge ad in understanding the differences among the persons with whom they are interacting. Therefore, intercultural competency helps a person realize the diversity perspective, access different talents globally, and other advantages that will enhance self-being (, 2011).
Intercultural competency is a tool that equips organization leaders, students and government officials in carrying out social interaction, business meetings globally, and enhancing negotiation powers in the international market.  On the other hand, I discovered and learned some social issues and ethical values that encourage and enhance the communication skills personally and professionally.  The above skills prepare and improve the behavior of the intercultural and professionally.  The above skills prepare and improve the behavior of the intercultural relationship.  The understanding of the varied cultures with differing values, social practice and norms, will enable an individual to adjust adequately depending on the person and culture with whom you are consulting.

The knowledge I am gaining will enable me to modify, and be aware of my behavior to conform to the particular culture.  With this knowledge I can facilitate more effective interaction, ither business or personal with varying cultures. It will assist me to attain a high level of intercultural competence.  I intend to train further concerning the various values, social practices, and norms of these cultures globally.  In addition, I will practice those arts by exposing myself to and studying their cultures.
Lustig, Myron & Koester, Jolene (2013) Intercultural competence in Intercultural Competence, Pearson Publishers
Lustig Myrn & Koester, Jolene (2006) Intercultural Competence (p – 204, Chapter 8) Pearson Education, Inc. 2011

*Baptist Religion – Baptism in the South (Project I)

The article authored by Mary Fairchild, she is an expert in Christianity.  It focuses on the practices and beliefs of the Southern Baptist Church as the title suggests.  The author of the article begins by focusing on the origin of the Baptist Religion and highlighting one of its most distinctive characteristics that is “adult believer’s baptism.”  The report will provide valuable information that aid in the development and completion of the final project.  It is crucial to note that it provides insights on the fundamental tenets that form the foundation of the Baptist religion.  The concept of baptism is concisely explained which involves the dismissal of baptism in infancy and adoption of a practice known as believer’s baptism.  Additionally, the article entails crucial information about other beliefs upheld by the Baptist religion such as the ordination of women, faith in the Bible, communion, authority of the church, equality among others.  Therefore, the article is an imperative resource in the development of the final project.
Harper K. (2010) “The Journal of Baptist Studies” Southeastern Baptist Theological
Seminary, Vol 4, p 1-95 Retrieved from
The article is a peer-reviewed electronic edition by Keith Harper that focuses on the thought and history of the Baptist religion.  It appears to have a high level of credibility due to the information being contributed by the board of editors who are representative of many Baptist denominations both secular and religious.  This peer-reviewed journal has many resources as book reviews and articles focusing on the Baptist religion ranging from its origin to its most definitive features.  The journal article will be useful as a resource for the final project as it will provide in-depth information on the historical background of the Baptist religion and its associations in the south.  Additionally, it identifies some of the critical features and practices that this doctrine of faith stresses on.
Arthur L. Farstad, (1990) “We Believe In  Water Baptism,” Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society 3 (Spring): 3.
The article is titled “We Believe In: Water Baptism” authored by Arthur Farstad talks about the evangelical for which the Baptist religion is part. Mainly it addresses the concept of baptism that is the core of the Baptist religion.  It demonstrates the interaction between diverse religious cultures while at the same time is focusing on the major characterizing aspects of the Baptist doctrine.  The publication will be a valuable addition to completion of the final project as it comprehensively shows the differing perspectives held by different principles on the meaning and the mode of baptism. Water baptism is a central concept in the article whereby; some consensus did show the opinion that the practice is a definitive feature that harmonizes different religious groups.
Furthermore, the article would be beneficial to the final project as it identifies a common culture or set of practices and beliefs are shared among most religious doctrines that are evangelical.  They include; baptism is significant as a sign of obedience as well as believer’s testimony in terms of being identified with Christ. There is no grace for salvation that is conferred by water baptism.
John A. Broadus (2003) Immersion Essential to Christian Baptism, Watertown, WI: Roger Williams Heritage Archives, p 5-6
John A. Broadus writes this article. The focus is on the examining the Baptist tradition.  In the beginning, the author highlights the Baptist tradition being among the most prominent and largest denominations of the Protestant Christians. The article disputes that the majority of Baptist churches have a similar concern. It places greater emphasis on the belief and understanding that believer’s baptism also known as Christian believers should undergo baptism. Additional, the kind of baptism being advocated should take place by way of immersion.  The author there emphasizes the baptism in the south which dates back to its original roots to the history of the early Church. This article is a useful resource for the completion of the final project.  As already demonstrates it provides insights into a believer’s baptism that is a tradition of the Christian communities in the south.  The article is essential for the project as it succinctly demonstrates the traditions and values of the Southern Baptists with respect to worshipping practices, missions, and theology.
Newman, Mark (2001). Getting Right with God:  Southern Baptists and Desegregation, 1945-1995, Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press
This article is a publication written by Newman, Mark, which addresses the religious life and culture of the southerners.  It is crucial to note this publication has a distinctive manner of dealing with the understanding of baptism among southerners.  The information contained in this publication reflects and entails how values and beliefs held upon by the people from the South shape life and culture.  Most importantly they clearly indicate and address various aspects that define Baptist religion and its presence in the south.  It is this kind of information that enables the article to become applicable to the final project.
I took the Cross Cultural Quizzes in Business, Non-Business and Dining Etiquette.  This gave me a great insight into how much I do not know about cultures and need to study how to adapt to each one.  My score in all three quizzes were at 85% which was passing with the notation that I need to make a further study of each culture.  I firmly believe when this course is completed and I take it again it will be much higher.
Essential CulturalAwarenessQuizzes. Retrieved from website
Arthur L. Farstad, (1990) “We Believe In: Water Baptism,” Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society 3 (spring): 3.
Fairchild M. (2015) “Southern Baptist Church Beliefs and Practices” retrieved from
Harper K. (2010) “The Journal of Baptist Studies” Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Vol. 4, p 1-95 retrieved from
Jhon A. Broadus, (2003) Immersion Essential to Christian Baptism, Watertown, WI: Roger Wiliams Heritage Archives, p 5-6.
Newman, Mark (2001). Getting Right with God: Southern Baptists and Desegregation, 1945-1995, Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press

*A European Crisis for Coca Cola

Coca-Cola was forced to recall major products from several European countries  due to a crisis that began with Belgium school children, allegedly, getting sick after consuming Coca-Cola.  Immediately after hearing of this the company pulled their product from the shelves and took care of the medical charges incurred by the affected families.  However, no proof was forthcoming that the Coca-Cola products had contamination. Due to previous incidents of a poultry contamination scare, and Britain’s mad cow crisis, the Belgium government, was on high alert and followed the investigation closely (Coombs, 2006).
Within a few days, similar claims of contaminated Coca-Cola were reported in France, and the Belgium government demanded the company recall their products. France followed a similar move as both countries felt they could not wait to find a solution from Coca-Cola. Luxembourg, Spain, and the Netherlands followed suit and the adverse publicity spread to Africa and Switzerland.  Investigations by Coca-Cola indicated that the affected people were suffering from some psychological condition that resulted from previous contamination alarms in Europe (Botan, 2009).
The affected countries took a negative view because the company failed to respond immediately.  Coca-Cola is a multi-national company, but their response was highly constrained. Their failure to have internal communications in the different countries where it had branches was their downfall.  The failure of its image restoration

A European Crisis for Coca Cola
strategies was caused mainly by the cultural differences in foreign environments.  An immediate response was necessary to explain fully what had happened. For this reason, the promises and apologies were not embraced by the cultures that believe in predictability, order and adherence to the set rules (Botan, 2009). As noted there was a feeling of distrust in the American companies.
In a global market that is unpredictable with strict regulations and anxious customers, Investor’s strategy was ineffective in altering the image created by Coca-Cola.  In some cases, crisis of this nature can be beneficial to the company if managed in an appropriate manner. Saturn and Inuit whose reaction was strategic upon the recall of their products.  They focused on the long term implications of their marketing and maintained a good relationship with their clients who even made them stronger (Coombs, 2006).
Due to poor multi-cultural communication, their regulators abroad viewed Coca-Cola Company as a threat to the whole planet.  The manner in which the company leaders were addressing the issue was being perceived by their customers abroad as arrogant.  In addition, the lack of immediate reaction from the group was interpreted differently in the affected countries.  With competent multicultural communicators in place, a multinational corporation like Coca Cola can easily avoid a repeat of such a crisis (Botan, 2009).
The main reason Belgium was oversensitive, and the intensity of product contamination is due to previous crises. With the culture of socialism in Europe, other
A European Crisis for Coca Cola
European countries readily believed Belgium and also found fault in the products of the capitalist America. The fact that Coca-Cola had attempted to purchase
Cadbury Schweppes and Orangina did not bode well with the European countries (Coombs, 2006).
Former Coca-Cola CEO Robert Goizueta believed that business is the only future institution.  However, this is against the ICC where different cultures tend to collide.  By ensuring cultural communication between Coca Cola and the Belgium government, the company could have avoided the crisis.  However, Goizueta should have ensured the company understood the culture of the Belgium people (Botan, 2009).
Coca-Cola could have allowed people that have an expertise to offer any appropriate explanations concerning the crisis. To accomplish this in a culturally acceptable and efficient manner, they could use translators.  One would think they would have translators within each branch worldwide along with a crisis intervention team, this would be a good corporate code.  Instead of risking recovering at a later date it was a crisis that could have been prevented early on.
The end diagnosis was “mass hysteria” and not contamination, according to Psychiatrist Simon Wessely (New Yorker 1999), and the Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola company being a business with so much annual revenue managed to market their products aggressively and recover its place in the world market (Coca-Cola stumbles in Belgium, 2003).

A European Crisis for Coca Cola

Lustig, M.W. & Koester, J (2013), Intercultural Competence, Interpersonal Communications across cultures (7th ed), Pearson Publishers
Caldwell, M (1999), Is the Belgium Coca-Cola hysteria the real thing? The New Yorker, 75 (18), 24 July 12, 2010, copyright 2010 by Conde Naste Publications, Inc.
Coca Cola stumbles in Belgium: Response time is critical in crisis management, (January 01, 2003). Strategic Direction 19, 5, 23-25
Coombs, W.T. (2006): Attribution Theory as a guide for post-crisis communication research – Public Relations Review, 33, 135, 139
Botan, C.H. (2009), Public relations Theory II, New York, NY Routledge

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