23 February, 2016

Two titbits from today

There are some gorgeous flowers in bloom here.
An international network
In an international mission like ours where not only do we come from many nationalities but we serve in many nations, you don't get to meet most members. When you do there is a fascinating way of establishing connection. There are three main establishing questions: "Where's your sending country? Where are you serving? How long?" Then comes the, "Do you know..."

This is where I am staying, the OMF Bangkok Guest Home.
For example, if I'm sitting with someone from Ireland who's serving in Taiwan, I'll ask whether they know Irish people I've known in Japan and Australians I know in Taiwan. The "how long" question gives some help with how far back you can go. 
It is an interesting exercise, actually and highlights how wide a network we have developed during our missionary career. I'm looking forward to visiting some of these people in their home countries when we are older.

I went for a walk with some Thai-based missionaries this evening and
we saw this chicken (or is it a rooster) strutting around on top of a
 truck with a cat respectfully watching (you can see its eyes).

A tricky question
Today we were asked this: 
What builds trust in your home culture?
I found this really hard. It made me realise how we really don't function often in our Australian culture any more. After some thinking I came up with some ideas:

  • Honesty
  • True blue/ integrity
  • Hospitality/socialising
  • Quality time
  • Paying out on others
Am I right? What would you "monocultural" Aussies add to this? 

This differs from how you build trust in Japan. Hospitality is definitely not a key factor, neither is honesty. Longevity and trying to fit in would be high on the list, however. 


Anna said...

Some thoughts as someone living in Australia:

For Australians, a primary basis for trust is 'Your Word' - saying you'll do something, and following through. (I guess this fits the 'integrity' one on your list). Perhaps this is why the majority of Australians will not trust politicians, as the politicians are perceived as making promises and then not delivering on those promises.

Paying out on others is a sign of trust, rather than a means to it. If you pay out on others too soon, you cross a boundary that will limit the likelihood of trust developing.

I am definitely aware of the importance of socialising/hospitality, particularly in a church family context, but I'm not sure whether it applies to the wider community.

It is fascinating to consider the divergent values that different cultures hold - and a challenge to our assumptions about what is right, true, and normative!

Wendy said...

Thanks Anna for these insights. I truly don't feel like a complete insider in Australian culture anymore!