Can you read this?

No? Yes? If you can read the above, quick, tell me what it has to do with culture. If not….

Can you read the next one?

Yes? Perhaps this second one was easier for you? Why? Why is it we can read the above?

Our minds interpret a lot of things every day, constantly. They make sense of the world around us. They do this by recognizing patterns, putting information into templates that are familiar to us.

Obviously when we enter a new culture, the rules are different. The patterns are different, the templates unfamiliar. Our inability to make sense of what’s happening around us can cause us to feel disconcerted, maybe to lose confidence. Our past knowledge, from another place, can cause confusion. It can lead us to think we understand what we really don’t, to fail to see what is really there, or to miss important information.

There are so many interesting photos and images floating around social media networks. How many of them are you able to use to promote cross-cultural understanding, like the two above? Come on, share your favorites!

Reading key to the above images is below:

Este mensaje es para demostrar las
cosas tan increibles que puede
hacer nuestro cerebro. si logras
leer esto puedes sentirte
orgulloso de tu inteligencia, ya
que solo ciertas personas lo
logran. esto se debe a que el
hemisferio derecho del cerebro
asocia los simbolos parecidos a las
letras que conocemos normalmente
y asi logramos leer con facilidad.

This message
serves to prove how our minds
can do amazing things!
Impressive things!
In the beginning it was hard but now,
on this line your mind is reading
automatically without even
thinking about it. Be proud!
Only certain people can read this.