The three readings discuss the different obstacles that people affront in intercultural communication, the different stages of intercultural sensitivity, and suggestions when communicating with people from different cultures.
What I found really interesting in the first reading is that the six “obstacles” discussed are present when discussing with people from different cultures, however, I never really felt it visible or in a way disturbed me. Of course, the language barrier is a big obstacle when communicating with some from a different culture. On the other hand, I never personally tend to “evaluate” or judge people because they’re from different cultures, on the contrary, I try to grab it as an opportunity as I try to discover how they view the world and maybe exchange similarity and differences between our cultures. To be honest, in my own experience I don’t really agree with the author in his first obstacle of assumption of similarities. Of course, as he stated in his examples of international students that just arrived in the United States and interpret the smiles of Americans in the street as smiles of people in their own country. However, here I believe that the people he questioned did not talk or learn about the American culture before their arrival. Another point I also want to mention is that I believe that even if we as human beings are raised in completely different cultures there are similarities that can be found between a female teenager in China and a female teenager in the Arab world. Maybe it’s naïve or utopic but I believe that we are more similar than different.
The other two reading are so interesting as they first put forward a kind of labeling of how individuals feel about their cultures and different cultures. I believe that it’s a spectrum that can help people visualize where they are and how they can learn to become more open to new cultures with the help of the third reading that suggest many different ways in becoming a more respectful and open individual when communicating and interacting with people from completely different cultures.