Category Archives: Culture

The societies in the Global Village

Bavarian in the US Southeast – by Beate Ziehres

Members of the European culture usually have a settled way of life. In their eyes, Americans are admirable models of mobility. If in Germany, where I come from, a person becomes unemployed, he will look for a new job in his ancestral city first. Only when that is unsuccessful will reach out to other parts of Germany to look for a new career. Or not, it depends on lots of circumstances. People are ingrained in their communities. Visiting is easier than moving and nobody has to take an airplane to visit friends and family. To cross Germany by car even at its widest point will take you nine hours.

Continue reading Bavarian in the US Southeast – by Beate Ziehres

A German’s Thoughts on American Values – by Beate Ziehres

As a German, I never thought deeply about the things that American people value. I heard about their preference for comfortable footwear and that they love burgers. When I moved to Chattanooga, I realized it’s true.  Lots of folks wear tennis-shoes, no matter if it is with jeans, slacks or skirts.  And as an almost vegetarian, I learned to value juicy grilled beef.  I’m sure I will miss that back in Germany.  After two years living in the US, I notice more differences between the attitudes of American and German people than I had imagined

Continue reading A German’s Thoughts on American Values – by Beate Ziehres

American English Pronunciation Challenges – by Katie Schwartz

If you are a mono-lingual American, it can be helpful to know how native speakers of other languages often pronounce English, so you can understand them more easily.  China is a huge country, and Mandarin is spoken differently in various parts of China. For some people, Mandarin is actually their second language, not their first. People in India speak somewhere between 780 and 1683 different languages, although reportedly only 21 are officially recognized.

Continue reading American English Pronunciation Challenges – by Katie Schwartz

Asian American Women Executives You Should Know — by Dr. Julia Wai-Yin So

To honor the success of Asian Americans in this country, I would like to highlight the professional lives of five prominent Asian female executives.  They have demonstrated a sense of pride in their own heritage and that this has not diminished their professional success in the western world.   They are among the most powerful women in the U.S.

Continue reading Asian American Women Executives You Should Know — by Dr. Julia Wai-Yin So

Understanding Asian American Communication — by Dr. Julia Wai-Yin So

Do you recall the first time you stepped into an international business reception at a major hotel and found yourself amidst a sea of Asian faces? If so, you may also have noticed a diversity of Asian cultures and conversations  in some incomprehensible languages: Cantonese Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and perhaps others.  If you have been put off when people in your presence have spoken a language other than English, you are not alone.

Continue reading Understanding Asian American Communication — by Dr. Julia Wai-Yin So

When Minorities become the Majority — by Dr. Julia Wai-Yin So

Not long ago, Texas made history.  It became a majority minority state. In other words, the minorities together make up more than 50% of the population. Here in Texas, diversity is a buzzword. Not only does it attract attention, it gets people excited, who now want to jump on the bandwagon to organize diversity initiatives such as cultural sensitivity training or setting up a diversity council.

Continue reading When Minorities become the Majority — by Dr. Julia Wai-Yin So

American Koreans and Healthcare – by Dr. Julia Wai-Yin  So

The nation is crying out for universal health care reform to provide adequate health insurance for the diverse citizens in the nation.  Yet, American diversity includes a group of individuals who remain silent as they continue to face limited access to health care because of their limited English proficiency (LEP).  A study released by the Kaiser Family Foundation in April, 2008 indicated that during 2004-2006 almost one third of non-elderly Korean Americans in the US do not have health insurance.

Continue reading American Koreans and Healthcare – by Dr. Julia Wai-Yin  So

Chopsticks Made in the USA – Dr. Julia Wai-Yin So

To many of us, the idea of using two sticks with one hand to pick up a piece of chicken or vegetable from a plate or bowl and putting that same piece of chicken or vegetable into our mouth without dropping it is beyond one’s imagination. However, this is what one out of every five people in the world does at mealtime on a daily basis. These people with such dexterity with chopsticks live in what we call “chopsticks nations” such as China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.

Continue reading Chopsticks Made in the USA – Dr. Julia Wai-Yin So