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Question
Posted by: Unique | 2010/10/21

FYI Cybershrink - Re Inconsiderate

Hi,

After reading your response to the about an inconsiderate visitor I thought I might let you know that in some cultures in SA is really not polite to ask a guest when they are leaving. It sounds even worse to pair it with a question about purpose of visit. Really one can''t ask that.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I know, but one of our growing problems in South Africa, is a need to recognize, in all cultures, that customs and expected behaviours that were sensible and functional in years gone by, in VERY different circumstances, are no longer functional in modern times and situations. What may be interesting is to look at how old cultures handled such situations.
For instance, yes, there was in many cultures a strong tradition of hospitality towards visitors - and generally there was also a very strong tradition of not abusing that custom of hospitality - and today we see people treating culture like a pick-and-mix sweet counter - picking out those bits, often taken out of context, that meet their selfish needs, and ignoring other linked aspects of the same customs and cultures, which would bring them into balance.
In days long gone by, of course a family or even a village would expect itself to show open hospitality to a visitor, even a stranger. But if someone NOT related and merely a school-friend, turned up and just moved in - and lay around all day eating and drinking, and expecting entertainment - and did absolutely no work towards the maintenance of the family or the village, but just sat around indefinitely expecting to be cared for, though they were entirely able to care for themselves - are you saying that the culture would accept that hapilly, and allow the person to stay for as many years as they wished, and have everyone else work extra hard to provide for them ? Somehow that sounds unlikely. If the hospitality was not intended to be endless and non-reciprocal - in what ways did the culture limit free-loaders who took advantage of it selfishly ?
If anyone knows about this, please post it as a separate message, as I don't see responses added to a thread after I have responded.

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6
Our users say:
Posted by: Unique | 2010/10/21

would buying the guy a ticket home won''t work? just INFORM him when is it for and offer him a lift to the bus stop.

Reply to Unique
Posted by: Jae | 2010/10/21

Hi all, perhaps that''s the reason my bf finds it difficult to just say the words (him being black and nguni) but then again the question remains- what to do in this situation?

Come to think of it, it seems even harder for men to handle these kinds of situations. thinking back to when I was still young, my mom always did the dirty work which would benefit everyone including my dad, my mom remaining the witch and my dad a saint.

Reply to Jae
Posted by: Unique | 2010/10/21

to Liza,

this is the case in most African cultures. I know for a fact for the Nguni groups.

Reply to Unique
Posted by: Happiness | 2010/10/21

Eish I''m a black african and I''m trying to find the most polite words to use when asking someone about their day and time of departure...nothing comes up lol!

Reply to Happiness
Posted by: Liza | 2010/10/21

In which cultures is it inconsiderate? And why? - I''m not being sarcastic, so don''t blast me for asking. I really want to know to increase my own knowledge...

Reply to Liza
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/10/21

I know, but one of our growing problems in South Africa, is a need to recognize, in all cultures, that customs and expected behaviours that were sensible and functional in years gone by, in VERY different circumstances, are no longer functional in modern times and situations. What may be interesting is to look at how old cultures handled such situations.
For instance, yes, there was in many cultures a strong tradition of hospitality towards visitors - and generally there was also a very strong tradition of not abusing that custom of hospitality - and today we see people treating culture like a pick-and-mix sweet counter - picking out those bits, often taken out of context, that meet their selfish needs, and ignoring other linked aspects of the same customs and cultures, which would bring them into balance.
In days long gone by, of course a family or even a village would expect itself to show open hospitality to a visitor, even a stranger. But if someone NOT related and merely a school-friend, turned up and just moved in - and lay around all day eating and drinking, and expecting entertainment - and did absolutely no work towards the maintenance of the family or the village, but just sat around indefinitely expecting to be cared for, though they were entirely able to care for themselves - are you saying that the culture would accept that hapilly, and allow the person to stay for as many years as they wished, and have everyone else work extra hard to provide for them ? Somehow that sounds unlikely. If the hospitality was not intended to be endless and non-reciprocal - in what ways did the culture limit free-loaders who took advantage of it selfishly ?
If anyone knows about this, please post it as a separate message, as I don't see responses added to a thread after I have responded.

Reply to cybershrink

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