. . . . . . Tracing our talks & thoughts . . . . .

Cultural Misunderstandings

A cultural misunderstanding appears in one of those moments when we fall into the cracks and identify the person in front of us while at the same time identifying ourselves. It is where empathy and introspection happen simultaneously, they hold hands. We acknowledge the world of the other and at the same time we acknowledge our own world, both as equal, valid and valuable.

Giving the label „cultural“ to a „misunderstanding“ helps us see when a discrepancy in communication goes beyond our human incompetence to express ourselves well, or how bad we tend listen, or even how reluctant we are in wanting to understand. This label brings to light our stories of socialization, buried in our body, our language, in our perception, in the stereotypes and prejudices we carry. The worlds we have walked through shine in all their splendor distorting our interaction with others.When we identify a cultural misunderstanding, our biographies become evident, the traces of our experience in a collectivity are there, exposed and face to face with the traces of other people’s experiences. These traces at first appear to us as if they were empty. They just suggest that there might be other tracks distorting the moment.  However, it is a significant step to at least be able to acknowledge their existence. In those traces, drawn to light by a cultural misunderstanding, everything that we have lived and what we have not lived is summoned up. It is not restricted to your passport or place of birth, it is something much more personal, collectively personal.  These traces, deep and heavy for being full of stories and communitarian experience, present themselves at the beginning as sillouhetes, it might be that even I can`t recognize my own trances and that it is easier for me to recognize the traces in the other. Then who is the „other“? Me? We?

What happens when we don’t leave it there? What would happen if a misunderstanding doesn’t end when it is named as such, and we give ourselves the time to fill in the silhouettes we have recognized in us and the other? Am I misunderstanding? Am I being misunderstood? Or is something mistakenly assumed as equivalent?
Could it be that in a cultural misunderstanding we are suddenly no longer alone and there are many of us communicating with many? It can turn suddenly in generalización of experiences, in universalities that can feed stereotypes. Is it really like that?

Koreans use „our“ pronoun a lot. 
Koreans have a strong sense of community. Such characteristics naturally formed a language habit called „our“ rather than “ mine.“ 
For example, even though Korea is not a polygamist country, it is called “our wife“ and “our husband.“
Also, when we talk about a country name, we don’t use the name Korea but call it “our country”.


That is why many foreigners are misunderstood, and foreigners and immigrants living in Korea feel relatively lonely.

Durch die Medien oder durch persönliche Kontakte lernen Menschen andere Kulturen kennen und bilden ihre Vorstellungen darüber, wie wohl alle Menschen der anderen Kultur sind.