Senin, 01 November 2010

Intercultural Understanding and Communication

Globalization means that interrelation among groups and states is completely a logical consequence of globalization. Within such interrelation, misunderstanding, disputes, or even conflicts, are likely to occur. While at individual level, intercultural contact might cause the emergence of cultural shocks or other psychological troubles such as impatience, anger, depression, eating disorder, sleep disturbance, physical complaints and body symptoms, and so forth. In short, globalization not only offers positive and beneficial impacts, but sometimes also gives unconstructive externalities.

In dealing with intercultural processes, we do need mutual understanding and good communication in order to prevent the acceleration of disadvantages resulted from such processes. Again, reciprocal understanding and effective communication are needed not only in individual matters, but also in state level. For instance, the development of the state or society can only be fruitfully accomplished if there is an effective developmental communication. It also means that communication is an integral part of development, and at the same time, it constitutes the precondition of successful development. In the case of Ainu society in Hokkaido, it indicates the intercultural relations between indigenous people in northern Japan and the Japanese society and culture. In such connection, mutual understanding, ‘peaceful coexistence’ and communication between two societies, which have very different customs and traditions, are extremely needed.

There are some keys that can be used to produce good understanding and valuable communication. However, two aspects were highlighted. First, non-verbal communication is potentially to be more dangerous or hazardous than the verbal one. Therefore, we must very careful in using this method. Second, it is very helpful to be kind and generous to people from different culture. With these keys, understanding between societies and states, hopefully can be achieved so that developmental processes in each society / state can be realized optimally based on excellent intercultural relations and productive communication.

July 23rd, 2002

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