An Online Primer for Budget Exploration
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III. CULTURAL INTEGRATION
Of course, you can gain specific insights into how people live in other lands by reading books written by native authors. There are translations of many international titles available in English, and these can go a long way in helping you understand the national character of a specific country.
Once you are overseas, try that simple staple of anthropological investigation, participant-observation. (Google that and get all kinds of interesting stuff.) Sit in a cafe or stand back in a small shop and see how the locals interact. Do they greet each other upon arrival with a simple "good morning" or "hello"? Are they pushy or patient, rude or respectful, interested or indifferent? What are the female-male interactions like? How do people treat children, elders, pets, the physically challenged? How do they treat the telephone, radio and television?
As you develop an awareness of how the locals behave, you become more comfortable knowing how people interact in casual situations. Unfortunately, many tourists rush by too quickly to observe the flow of life around them.
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