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Intercultural supplement

This year for my work experince I went to Madrid for 3 months working in a design firm with a contract of 5 h per day.

Before going to Spain I had some established stereotypes. Madrid is a capital, and for me like Paris I was expected a cold and expensive town. But Madrid is a warm town and people there have nothing to see from the parisian atmosphere weknow. They speak to each other in the metro smiling and there’ s not the sensation of indiference.

Spanish culture is very extrovert, during three months there I noticed a lot of diferences with french culture. I tried to apply the ODIE notion, for example:

Example 1 :

Description : Raquel ( in charge of communication) was used to shout out through the firm speaking, laughing with somefriends
Interpretation : She’s very communicative..but too much for me
Evaluation : I thought at first her behaviour wasn’t profesional

At the end of three months there , I was used to hear her shouting like that , like everybody and I just thought ‘ so she’s like that’!

Example 2 :

Desciption : Manolo, my italian roomate, calling his family at 11pm and speaking aloud !
Interpretation :..At 11pm, it’s not an hour to call the family, and moreover shouting out when I try to rest
Evaluation : it was at the beginning of my first month and I thought he didn’t respect the rules of living together.

Example 3 :

Desciption : people queueing up for the bus
Interepretation : In france, in Paris it doesn’t happen.
Evaluation : spanish people is very disciplined!

In Spain, the nonverbal communication is a notion very present. The proxemics notion is very diferent because people speaks to you closer and the notion of distance is not the same. People can be sometimes face to face to speak with the touch language ( haptics) very pronounced. They use hands and arms for everything, for say ‘hello’, ‘bye’, to explain better the discussion we have. It’s an extrovert culture,more than french culture.

The notion of time in Spain is completely diferent from ours in France. The hours to eat are all put back of more or less two hours, the breakfast at 11am, the lunch at 15 pm and the dinner at 22h. Moreover, with the hot climate, people when they can, sleep after lunch because it’s simply impossible to move. I had to acclimate myself with this rhythm of life, I workedin a spanish firm and I had to respect the hours for everything, so sometimes when I had to work more I came back home to lunch at 4pm..and I slept after..during the evening, it was the same, I had some spanish friends who started to go out at midnight or even later sometimes.I had no choice, just to adapt myself and my body to this new rhythm of living. At first I felt tired because I couldn’teat when I was hungry, and I couldn’t bear so much the hot of the days! At the end of three months, I had exactly the same rhythm of living and my body had assimilate it.. I had to take my french reflexes once back to France.

In terms of cultural orientations and theories, I can develop the Kluckhon and Strodtbeck model :
The spanish culture is for me:
Human nature : there are both evil peopleand good people in the world; and you have to check people out to find out which they are.
Ex : people there are very open mind speaking easily to each other but they know they have to be careful. Mi amiga, Isis, de Madrid for example is very friendly but used to be mefiante about people she met in bars and the streets.

Man-nature relationship: Man should, in every way live in completeharmony with nature.
Ex : spanish people like nature. They don’t believe in external forces and don’t control the nature. the town subit a plan of integrate more natuer in the town..some projets near the museum of El Prado will begin soon and the numerous parks in the towns show that Madrid integrate completely the nature.

Time sense : planning and goal-setting make it possible for man to...
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