We Grow Up Thinking This Way


ImageHere is the massive gap in perception that requires one to completely shrug off any existing assumptions in order to comprehend. I took this picture in Malawi where a 3 year old child was captured working from dusk till dawn. The child was so small he was still sucking on his thumb. Some call it “child labour”, his family simply said to me: “family responsibility”

Another example. This time about I myself. Thirty something academic, not married, childless, not having a house, not even a car, and spending all my saving on “useless” journeys, some Asian newspapers who wrote about me described my life style as “extreme” and “rebellious”. I was, as a matter of fact, surprised and replied: “I thought wanting to live my own life was called “human right” !!!

What else? Endless examples. Terrorist or Freedom fighter? Rebel or Revolutionist? Gender (in)equality or respective social essence? Corruption or responsive favour system? …In short, where is the border line between universal right or cultural relativism?

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About culturemovedotcom

Phuong-Mai Nguyen holds a PhD in Intercultural Communication from Utrecht University and currently teachers Cross-Cultural Management at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Previously her career was a journalist in Viet Nam. She has lived, worked, and visited more than 70 countries and is published widely. As a trainer and coach, she delivers training programs for multinationals with particular specialization in International Management, Asian perspectives, Conflict resolution, Cross-cultural marketing, The rise and fall of East vs. West economies. She also co-designed various business simulation tools such as Cultural Detective and Diversophy used in management and training programs. At the moment, she is on a journey through Middle East tracing the path of Islam from where it began, city by city, westwards to Africa and eastwards to Asia. Follow her travel stories at www.facebook.com/cultureMove and www.twitter.com/thequest2quest

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