I personally believe culture does not have to represent a certain race or religion only. We live in Malaysia. Being Malaysian is our culture. Living in this harmonious multicultural country is a true blessing. Our culture is also very unique as it takes shape from the combination of the three main races in our country: Malay, Chinese and Indian. A multicultural entity is formed when Chinese and Indian immigrants entered Malaysia as workers during British times. These three and other races in our country have largely contributed to what we have now in Malaysia. Malaysia can be said to be a high-context cultured country. We are proud to say that we are members of Malaysian culture.
Culture is defined in many different ways across the world because people perceive it in their own unique way and it is a matter of perception and definition. Culture is how we perceive ourselves and how the world looks at us. It is the definition of ourselves and our background, the ethics and beliefs we hold on to, and it also represents the traditions and norms that we inherit and respect. Co-culture, on the other hand is the perception of membership in a group that is a part of an encompassing culture. Co-culture can be said to be the subdivision of culture. For instance, I am a Hindu. Hinduism is a co-culture. Most Hindus share the same festivals, rituals and customs such as Diwali celebration, wedding norms, traditional clothes and many more. There are many types of co-culture that people fit into.
When two or more of these cultures collide during a communication process, it is called an intercultural communication. To be more precise, intercultural communication occurs when two or more people from different cultures or co-cultures communicate in a way that is influenced by their different culture perceptions and symbol systems, both verbal and non-verbal. Cultural values and norms play an undeniable role is shaping intercultural communication. High- vs. low context, individualism vs. collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance and achievement vs. nurture are the main factors of intercultural communication. Realization about these norms is significant to achieve a effective intercultural communication.
High- versus Low-Context Culture
There are two major ways how communicators from different cultures deliver messages. Low-context culture use language largely to express thoughts, ideas and feelings in a logical and direct ways. On the other hand high-context culture believes language has to be used in a subtle way to maintain social harmony and they often use non-verbal cues. High context people give importance and respect to silence and place feelings above ideas when they communicate. Besides, achievement culture produce depressed students matter a lot to them.
Turning down an invitation is a very good example to distinguish these two contexts. Whenever an extended family or even friends invite people from high-context culture...