Test Your Cultural Competency

This "test" is simply being used to show you Cultural Competency in action. It was taken from the website listed below and is only being used to demonstrate that we may think we are more culturally savvy than we actually are. 

Test your intercultural competence by answering true or false to each of the following statements:
  1. A "thumbs up" in some Islamic countries is a rude sexual sign.
  2. Forming an “O” with the thumb and the forefinger in Japan means that we can now discuss money.
  3. Scandinavians are more tolerant to silent breaks in conversations.
  4. Laughter in Japan can be a sign of confusion, insecurity or embarrassment.
  5. In the UK, to compromise is seen as a positive sign of both parties wining.
  6. Wearing gloves in Russia when shaking hands is considered polite.
  7. Leaving right after dinner in Central America is considered well-mannered as it means you’ve been well fed.
  8. In Sub-Saharan Africa it is normal to arrive half an hour late for dinner.
  9. If you tell your female friend from Africa that she’s put on weight during her holiday, it means she’s had a good holiday and is physically healthier than when she left.
  10. In Brazil, flicking your fingers under your chin is a sign of disgust.
  11. If you want to show your respect for an elder in Africa, do not look them directly in the eye.
  12. Keeping your hands in your pockets while negotiating in Russia is rude.
  13. It is seen as polite to not accept an offer of food or drink in Persia immediately on being offered it, instead you should refuse a few times before accepting the gift.
  14. In France, dinner is commonly served at 5 pm.
  15. In Brazil, purple flowers are a symbol of friendship.
  16. In Mediterranean cultures, being boisterous in the streets and public places is widely accepted.
  17. In Australia, a single male passenger should sit in the back seat.

See below for answers.



1-5: True6: False – you need to remove your gloves when shaking hands in Russia7-9: True10: False – this means you don’t know the answer to a question in Brazil11-13: True14: False – in France, it is common to eat dinner at 7 pm or later and it tends to be a light dinner.15: False – Purple flowers in Brazil are often seen at funerals. Avoid giving a host purple flowers.16: True17: False - A single male passenger should sit in the front seat in Australia.

If that doesn't inspire you to a least start talking to others about the topic, then I don't know what will! It just goes to show you that there is ALWAYS something new we can learn and that there is a wealth of knowledge out there as long as we are open to receiving it.

Sources: http://www.suite101.com/content/quiz-on-intercultural-competence-a24543