When first decided to join this CDC, I had a few things running in my head, thinking, what if do not get along with my new roommates? This is the main challenge that has been boggling me for quite awhile. It was hard for me to warm up to strangers, and now I have to live with these strangers for two weeks. One of the main reasons why do not get along with some people is because we have different personalities and this will lead to conflicts and differences, even over the simplest things, for example, we have differences over what kind of food we should eat.
Or perhaps having different opinions to a matter, which will also result in another conflict and make everyone in the household unhappy. Another challenge would be not getting used to living somewhere outside my home as an independent person as I think I am a sheltered individual, used to having my needs met by my parents and relatives. As such, I am afraid that my roommates will think of me as a “spoilt child” when in fact it is due to my inexperience.
Furthermore, am afraid that will commit stupid mistakes like not knowing how to do the household chores properly because I have not oaten much experience doing so. Lastly, it would be the tolerance of my untidiness. As I would not be living alone, therefore have to consider how others would think of my untidiness. I admit that am an untidy person and I usually clean up my mess after awhile. Some people might be able to tolerate it because they are like me, however am afraid that my untidiness will annoy my roommates and thus create an unfriendly environment during our stay.
However, for the sake of this module and the people living with me, I will change my ways and aim to be a better and more independent person, as ell as learning on how to accept the differences of other people. What feel that will learn from this subject is understanding the psychological makeup of people from other cultures, how different they are from Singapore and how We should behave in Order to appear inoffensive to Others.
Reflection Journal Entry 2 What does it mean to be transnational? Being a transnational person means having the ability to communicate and deal with people from different ethnicity and cultures. Believe that the basics are to respect, understand and to be sensitive to their culture. From what I learnt throughout this week, I realized that despite knowing how the cultures define the mindset and behavior of people, I still remained hard on my ways when it comes to dealing with them.
Growing up and being influenced by family and friends, became less tolerant of other cultures and tend to stereotype them into different groups, which is an inaccurate way of interpreting their behavior. Also, I tend to be slightly insensitive at times which make my actions seem offensive to them. Perhaps being a rather opinionated and stubborn individual, I rarely UT myself in their shoes and did not think that maybe the other party is behaving like that due to his upbringing and cultural values. Therefore, I think that am not a very good transnational person.
There are different examples, firstly, being a Singapore Chinese, interacting and seeing the behavior of Chinese that hails from Mainland China, initially did not think that their “rude” behavior was considered the norm back in their motherland, and found it hard to tolerate and communicate with them because firstly, they are very hierarchal in the sense that the males always feel like they have omelet control and power over females and respect to the elders is highly looked upon. Had some arguments with people from Mainland China with regards to the issue.
Next, being an internet native, I tend to chat with people from all over the world, especially the United States. I have made some online friends and there was once misunderstood the meaning behind her messages to me. It seemed like an personal attack when it fact it was just her very honest opinion, as Americans tend to be very straightforward and liberal, that they speak their mind without being diplomatic and as an Asian, tend to value legislations over my own opinions so choose not to voice out my unhappiness.
It was a cultural shock because the ways both cultures think are very different and this tends to create many disagreements and conflicts. In my life, there are two very important factors that helped me develop transatlantic skills. Firstly, it is my international friends that hail from countries like Thailand, China, United States. These people gave me an insight of their mindset and taught me how to react sensitively and showed me that common action between different cultures are crucial when t comes to building relationships between one another.
Secondly, it is the media. I believe the media has shown us how mistakes made due to negligence of culture has led to many conflicts and also serves as an education to everyone in the world, including me, that developing transatlantic skills is very important as it plays an important roles in our working lives in the future because the world is becoming so globalizes and corporate companies are going international, and having this set of skills will ensure growth in our career.
Reflection Journal Entry 3 If I could pick a country to stay in, I would pick South Korea because I like staying in my comfort zone by picking an Asian country, which makes it more comfortable to live in by their culture. However, despite having the typical Asian culture, every country has its own unique elements in their culture, like Singapore with its insane obsession with queuing. Getting to live there will allow me to interact with their people and understand them better.
Furthermore, really like their cuisine and weather there as compared to Singapore which is very hot all year round. Firstly, South Korea has been glorified throughout the world due to their pop culture which has been a global phenomenon and thus makes their culture very attractive to people, especially the westerners. Their famous national dish, chime, is also widely loved by the masses worldwide.
However, when I researched more on their culture, realized that they do not share many similarities with Singapore culture. For example, know that elderly are very respected in the society and South Koreans will always give them the priority like in trains, buses and even queuing up to buy a drink or in the parameter. Since I do not know much about their implicit culture, I feel that going there would at least show me and perhaps be able to understand and adapt to it.
Besides, doing business in South Korea will teach me management skills and tips on how to deal with them when conflicts arrive and perhaps allow me to further develop these skills when I move on to another country like the United States in the future. When comparing the national profile of South Korea with my profile, I still think ifs a good idea to live in South Korea. However, I feel that doing business in South Korea would e a challenging task and personally, it would frustrate me as we have our differences when it comes to doing business.
According to the profile, I share these dimensions with the South Koreans: being neutral, diffused and our relationship with time. By having these in common, it would be easier to understand them and communicate better as we all share the same mentality and we would know how to react to the different kind of situations that will happen between us. However, we do have our differences, especially in areas like universalism vs. particularistic, and our relationship with the environment.
As for being ascription based, understand this because hailing from an Asian society, family background or being recon sized mainly not for hard work is the norm for huge companies owned by powerful families. However, knowing that South Koreans bend rules and values relationships more than their morals frustrates me as I feel that doing so will lead to confusions like perhaps changing the conditions on a legal contract because it is not in the favor of their shareholders/partners, thus leading to conflict between us.
Next, I believe that we should adapt to the ever changing environment but South Koreans believe that change is possible and that they control their own fates, therefore they are very aggressive in their speech and opinions which probably will scare me off in the beginning and being the passive one, it could possibly lead to the South Koreans not being able to understand my lack of initiative and courage as well as thinking that am ridiculous because we have different opinions as to what should be done.
Reflection Journal Entry 4 What were my main challenges faced during my stay? Firstly, it was not being able to adapt to the new surroundings because everything seems so foreign o me, the shower, the bed, the apartment, and it made me feel a little homesick, which not surprisingly is what predicted I would face in journal 1 Everyone feels a little homesick when it comes to living five days away from our own comfort zone, therefore we went to place our belongings and stuff around the apartment like how we usually do at home, making it a little more close to home.
That was what did to combat the “homesick-news”. Next, I felt that it was hard for me to get along with my roommates in the beginning because some of them are reserved individuals, the other is too expressive for my liking which also brings me to my point that, being a neutral oriented individual made me feel uncomfortable being around affective people because it felt weird at some point to be around them as it made me feel out of place to be the quiet one because I did not like to express my emotions out openly.
Sadly, did not tell my roommates about feeling uncomfortable and instead, tried to open up and be a more fun loving and outgoing individual so that would fit in in the circle. I had tons of fun in the end and overall, this experience teaches me how to be more outgoing and owe to make new friends even though we are all cut from a different cloth. In comparison to my challenge I stated in journal 1, surprisingly, my roommates and I got along on what kind of food to buy, household chores, sleeping time because everyone’s requests was reasonable and it did not result in conflicts, which was good for me as I did not like confrontations.
Lastly, being a universalism did not help when it comes to dealing with a particularistic roommate, which is something did not expect when I was writing my journal 1. Bending the rules seem a little rebellious for me and prefer things to be one in an organized manner and also being punctual is an important quality for me. Furthermore, being a universalism, I tend to be very rigid and inflexible at times and I like things to be done by certain deadlines I set for myself.
However, a roommate of mine likes things to go with the flow and flexibility is kind Of her thing, which is why sometimes I feel that she seems rebellious and it made me feel uncomfortable. What I did to solve this is to give her subtle messages and pressuring her. How? By being who I am. Realized that living with a particular group of people subconsciously changes you into their kind cause it feels weird when you do not fit in with the rest. Which is why they say friends are the biggest influence in your lives because everyone in that circle behaves similarly, and if your friends are good influences, so will you.