Who is my neighbour?
Who is my “stranger”
Living in intercultural-community life
My neighbour is……
It could be anyone whom you
are unconcerned, whom you
have kept outside of the
domain of your care and
concern, even if he lives
under the same roof… roof of
your community, or the
Our call, in
Christ, is to
hearts to include
all into the circle
of our love
As Abiding love that keeps on in different moments of life
God created the world and all in it….God found that it was good.Gen.1
World population 2007
Africa: 935 million
Asia: 4004 million
Europe: 727 million
N. America: 523 million
S. America: 380 million
Oceania: 33 million
Christianity: 2.1 billion
Islam: 1.3 billion
Secular, atheist, agnostic: 1.1.b
Hindus 900 million
Buddhism: 376 million
Chinese traditional: 394 million
Africa traditional: 100 million
Sikhism. 23 million
Judaism. 14 million
Bahai. 7 million
Jainism. 4.2 million
Zoroastrian. 2.6 million
Diversity of cultures
Unity in Diversity
Diveristy is celebration of
Diversity in Christian World in
Assemblies of God. 55
Ethiopian Orthodox. 35
Iglesia ni Cristo. 27
Seventhday adventist. 16
Yahveh witness: 15
Men Religious in the Church (2003)
OFM Cap. 11,321
OFM Conv. 4,565
FMS marist. 4,470
CM Lazarists. 4,063
Ethnic violence claims more deaths each
Rwanda Hutus-Tutsis: estimated: 800,000
Srilanka: Tamil-Simhala: 80,000
Irak: Sunni.Shiite: 14000 civilians in 2006
Chad. Last week: 100
The list is endless
It costs to humanity terribly, if
we do not know how to benefit
from and build up together with
Witness, hope and challenge
Intercultural communities: Graces
Witness to God the Father
Visibile expression of gospel love
Personal and community growth
Richness of variety, creativity and
Intercultural community: challenges
Usually no physical violence or open fight, but….
Goup conflicts, unhealthy division
Minority discount, Cultural shield
Majority homogeneous cultural amnesia
Confusion of cultural relativism and moral
Cause serious erosion of apostolic energy and
Perception in communication
Look at this picture and observe the changing
perception in a different perspective…
Percpetion is our individual mode
of viewing others and the world,
mediated by our senses,
attitudes, values, needs and
Our identities in communication
Human: our view of
ourselves that we believe we
share with all other humans.
Social: view of ourselves that
we share with others in our
ingroups. Group identity.
Personal. The view of ourselves
that differentiates from other group
members. Uniqueness as individuals
Our vocational identity is linked
to the purpose of our life on
It integrates all our identities into a
What are the
groups do you feel
Your ethnic group?
Your nationality ?
How do you perceive
the outsiders of your
preferred group? Where
do you place those
whom you have
The culture of the people
of your mission?
YOur family, kith and kin?
Our social identities in communication
It influence our identity when
we interact with another
Differences in the way men and
Men: differentiation, assertion
Women: relational processes
Age related social identiy
Age differenes cause unxiety
and uncertainty. Generation
gap. Elders, young, children
Social class to which we
belong and identify with
The group that we identify with
influences our communication
If your group’s values are openness,
respect, inclusion and universal
fraternity, communication with
members of outgroups tend to be
Identity and affiliation
We affiliate to the group that
supports our self esteem
If needs such as affection,
aggression and inferiroty are
predominant in us, we tend
to identify with those groups
that support it.
If vocational values are
predominant in our selfdefenition, there is more
openness to relate with
How much do you tap on your
vocational identity for your self
Is your Claretian Vocation a
source of meaning of your life?
How much do you value your community for your
need for belongingness and vocational living?
Relational problems in intercultural groups
tendency to view oneself as right and
other as wrong.
Moral exclusiveness: the other
does not deserve fairness and
Spiritual deprivation: tendency
to view oneself as a superior to
others, or a victim of maltreatment.
Reserve for onself the right to be
aggressive and hostile.
Lack of communication skills
resulting in misunderstanding and
Uncertainty and anxiety in relating with
Predictive uncertainty: about
predicting other’s attitudes,
feelings, beliefs, values etc.
Explanation uncertainty: about
explaining the other’s behaviour
Feelings of uneasiness, tension, worry about what
might happen. It could be about it:
Loss of esteem, discomfort and awkwardness
about intergroup communications.
fear of others behaviour, being dominated etc.
negative evaluation of others. Rejection, redicule.
fear of the reactions of ingroups.disapproval
Learning effective inter-cultural
How to Understand, appreciate and
effecitvely communicate with the
It is important Know
cultural similarities and differences
Cultures fall along different polar dimensions
Individualism: emphasis on
individual goals, promotes selfrealization, subjective sense of
and personal well
being. “I” precede over “we”,
Low context: much of the
is vested in the
explicit code. Messages are
more clearly communicated.
Direct, clear and to the point.
Collectivism: group goals important.
Individuals are to fit into their groups.
Group activities are dominant. Shared
precede over “I”. Emphasis on group
belongingness. Vertical relationships
High context messages: most
information is either in the
in the person. Very little is in the
coded, explicity, transmitted part
of the message. You have to
guess a lot.
Low in uncertainty avoidance
avoidance. Low stress levels.
Accept dissent and take
risks. “What is different is
High power distance
Authority is placed high
High in uncertainty avoidance: Low
tolerance of uncertainty and
ambiguity. Great need for Formal
rules, consensus. Structure,,
organization as refuge.
Low power distance
Authoirty closer, dialogical
Feminity: value equality
Fluid sex roles,
It is our social identiy that focus on our
membership in our cultures and exert
influence on our communication
Strength of cultural identity: degree to which
our cultures are important to define us.
Content: our individualistic or collectivistic
Collective self esteem is the degree to which we
generally evaluate our social groups positively. When
we fight, put down, or defeat outgroup members, our
collective self.esteem is boosted.
What is predominant in you: individualistic or
Is your culture individualistic or collectivistic?
Hight context or low context culture?
High power distant or low power distant?
Hight in Masculine culture or feminine culture?
Do you try to understand the culture from
where your brother hails from?
Expectations in communication
Expectation: our anticipations and predictions
about how others will communicte with us.
Based on social norms and
communication rules, our
attitudes and stereotypes
Our expectations from
ingroups tend to be
positive and those from
and stereotypes affect
It is the view of things in which one’s own group is the
measure of everything and others are rated in reference to
it. We all have some degree of ethnocentric attitudes
A highly ethno centric person
sees one’s own group as
virtuous and superior, others
as inferior. Ingroup values as
seen as applicable to all
Ethnocentric speech: talk that
distances outgroup members.
Eg., derogatory comments,
Speaking one’s own dialect
Making pre-judgement based on membership in a
It can be positive or negative, low or high.
Negative ethnic prejudice is an antipathy based on
faulty and unflexible generalization
Often we display
prejudice and racism in
our everyday actions,
though we are not aware
It can be reduced by
values in personal life
and mindfulness in our
Pictures we have in our heads for the people whom we
place in various social categories. It is a natural part of
We categorize others based
on identifiable characteristics
We assume that certain
attributes apply to all in that
We assume that individual
members of that group have
Attributing meaning to others’ behaviour
Based on perceptual process
Our perceptions involve our awareness of what is
taking place in our environment
Our Perceptions are selective: we
attend only to selected stimuli based on
our cultures, ethnicities, age, sex, past
experience and needs
Perceptions involve categorizations.
We categorize information into meaningful
Rigid categories inhibit accurate
perception because it does not see
Consider the following: A priest left religious life to live with a nun he was working with.
-A nurse did a wrong injection and the patient died. nurse is your sister.
-A nurse did a wrong injection and the patient died. The patient is your brother.
What do you think why they behave this way?
Attributions are your attempts to explain your own and
other’s behaviour especially with regard to reasons for
You try to determine if the individual or some outside
factor is responsible for the behaviour.
Accordingly you hold the person responsible.
Consensus: Do the other people behave the same way?
If not, attribution is to internal causes
Consistency: Does the person behave the same way in
similar other situations ? If yes, atribution is to internal
Distinctiveness: Does the person behave the same way
in different situations? If yes, atribution is to internal
We tend to attribute ours/ingroup’s negative behaviors to
situational or external factors and deny responsibility.
But we may easily attribute our positive behaviors to internal
factors and take credit for them
Attribution in inter-cultural context
When strangers behave negatively, we tend to
atribute it to internal factors and hold them
We tend to treat their positive behaviours as
“exceptions to the rule” and attribute them to
If you have positive
impression of someone, you
do not perceive the negative
in that person
Non verbal communication: Cultural differences
Emotion expression and recognition
Cultural rules control the
expression of emotions.
Meaning of emotional
expressions too are different.
Eg. Smile may express
fruendliness, but may be seen
Other Cultural differences
Contact: interpersonal distance & space
Distance: people stand from each other
Sensory involvement: (smell etc.)
Touch: high touch, low touch cultures
Eye contact: avoidance of eye contact or
Voice: loud talk, soft talk
Use of Time
Plychromic time people: more talk,
relational, less schedules
Monochromic: time schedules,
task oriented, respect privacy,
Learning to improve skills for
Improve the quality of
1. Being assertive and not aggressive
-State your wants
Not Aggressive by
-Honestly describe the
stranger’s behaviour (not
Attacking the selfconcepts of others
-Use direct language to
express what you mean
-Use “I” messages
-Be listening and caring
-Insult, tease, ridicule,
2. Being confirming
Recognize, Acknowledge, and endose
the person and views of the stranger.
3. Create inclusive
Treat them as one of
you and use inclusive
language. “We”, “our
Skills for effective communication
Ability to be
To be Aware
Ability to manage anxiety
Control body symptoms
Control worrying thoughts
Ability to tolerate ambiguity
To bear with uncertainity
To face reality as it comes
Skills for effective communication
Ability to Empathize
Takes the perspecitive
of the other
Have insight into his/her
Ability to make accuate
predications and explanations
And explanation of others
How to improve perceptions?
Recognize your role in perception. Your
emotional and physiological state will
influence the meaning you give to
On the basis of our observations of
behaviors formulate hypothesis to test
against additional information and
evidence. Delay formulating conclusions
until you have had chance to process
Look for a variety of cues pointing in the
same direction and same conclusion. Be
alert to contradictory cues. It is often
difficult to acknowledge contradictory
Regardless of a number of observations
and carefully examined hypothesis, you
can only guess what is going on in the
other’s mind. Motives are not open to
outside inspection. We can only make
assumptions based on overt behaviors.
Hence avoid mind reading.
of your own biases. Eg.
perceiving only the positive in people
you like, or negative in the people you
validation for your perceptions.
Compare your perceptions with those
your perceptions with the other
person. Describe what you think is
happening. “You seem to be angry”. Ask
the other person for confirmation. “Are
you”., “Did my plans upset you?”.
Build your community with
love and care
Therefore we choose as a
priority in the congregationin its structures, institutions
and life style- the necessary
process of intercultural
- That they may have life. 29