Response to posts
I agree with the sentiment that one should not become fixated on a single culture, as it can restrict their social lives and make them awkward around persons that are not from a similar background. The present world is very dynamic, making persons from different cultures to meet and interact on various platforms. I also believe that cultural intelligence is important, but find it absurd that you would not condone a culture that is intolerant of others. This, in my opinion, is counterproductive. I believe that hatred can be countered effectively by love and inclusion.
In the exploration of cultures, I concur with you that american culture, which is a mixture many cultures, is very interesting and can make one better prepared to deal with persons of various backgrounds. I have a feeling that many western cultures are based on individualism, while the more conservative ones from the middle east and Asia are steeped in collectivism. Having this in mind, and taking the gender of a person into consideration, it makes it much easier to interact with various people productively.
I find the modesty in the description of your cultural intelligence interesting. The work of assisting international student is a good place to gain insights on their cultures and become competent in dealing with persons from different backgrounds. The several ways of gaining CQ such as learning a language, reading books and watching films from other cultures are in my opinion, effective. Language, in particular, is a very good tool that can communicate the intricacies and norms of a population to an outsider.
The approach of exploring a foreign culture that you have described is also a good one, namely traveling. However, I have an issue with the length of time you took in Europe and the fact that the trip mainly entailed sight-seeing and sampling Italian cuisine. The observations regarding service were on point, though I still feel that spending more time there such as several months could have given you a better understanding of Italian culture.
The description you have made of the different cultural dimensions is informative. From what you have mentioned about performance orientation and how mistakes are viewed as failures in your social circle, you seem not to endorse this dimension. I, however, think that this is an approach that was effective in the past, as it could act as a motivation for perfection and even be the determining factor for the survival of a community. Regarding aggressiveness, the background of a person has a great influence on it.
I find your experience with cultural intelligence intriguing and think that you are a perfect example of a person that has gained it and worked it to one’s advantage. The reason for that is the fact that you are from India and have worked in the American society for two years. You admit that the way of doing things here is very different from back at home, and yet still are in a capacity to appreciate both, without demeaning either. This is very impressive.
The effects of the cultural dimensions on one’s identity and their self-esteem have been outlined, and I concur with you on that. There is a need for one to find identity and purpose within a cultural context, as that gives one a sense of belonging and the ability to interact well with persons from other cultures. The description of the characteristics of high gender egalitarianism and low gender egalitarianism as well has been done objectively, given that, I suspect, you have experienced both first hand, in the US and India.