Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Foreign to Familiar

This is a book written by Sarah Lanier. The book was refered to me by Jennifer Herron. She said this explained why and how she behaves the way she does.

To explain briefly Tom and I come from opposing cultures which are as different as North is to south. Koreans have hot climate culture (a country can have hot or cold climate culture without matching weather condition). Connecticut where Tom is from, is cold climate culture. Tom was always bothered by my going around the bushes to answer a simple question when yes or no would do. Tom on other hand is precise with his answers & would leave me feeling that he does not care for how I feel.

One year we have offended my parents deeply because of my lack of understanding Korean culture. Life can be confusing when I am ingrained in one culture and at the same time not know deeper aspect of my culture. When Mary Neill was getting married to Paul Stevens, I mentioned to my parents if they would like to come to her wedding, we would ask her. I knew that in US, bride and groom typically did not invite parents of sister-in-law where as in Korea, that invitation is a must especially if they know each other. My parents said it would be better if they did not get invited for some reasons. That was that. Later I would learn that I have deeply wounded my parents. It is Korean culture that it is polite to deny whatever was offered. It is the duty of the other party of invite, provide, or give until they accept or take. I learned it is very much like that in many parts of the world.... the hot-climate culture countries.

The book covers many aspects where I see myself whether I am feeling left out or ignored or twinge of hurt because of cultural differences. Jennifer said the book explained why she responds to situation that way when she read the book. Yes Jennifer is Korean who came here as a very young child.

The author said even in US, South has more of hot climate culture where as northerner has more of cold climate culture. There are many different aspects of Hot and Cold Climate Cultures. It explained who I am and it also explained who Tom is. Very interesting book. .