Our own culture is like water to a fish. It sustains us. We live and breathe through it.
Fons Trompenaars, Franco-Dutch intercultural consultant and author

What is “culture”?

Culture surrounds us naturally, it is always there, whether we want it or not. If we live in the environment we grew up in, we hardly notice it—like fish swimming in water. Only when our environment changes, for example through moving to a different place or by meeting people from other cultures, do we perceive a change—things are not as “normal” as they were before. The challenge is to deal with these differences successfully.

Our culture defines our behaviour. For example it influences the following factors:

Of course within a certain cultural group, not all individuals behave the same. Nevertheless, there are certain discernible tendencies and patterns of behaviour—views and values, which can lead to certain actions, and which we have absorbed since childhood. We have to make ourselves aware of these tendencies for successful intercultural cooperation. This does not mean that everyone has to conform to the same cultural values. It means that people should understand where the differences and similarities lie and why individuals act in certain ways. In this way we can find a common ground on the basis of which we can live and work together.

Open Cultures can show you the way to intercultural cooperation that suits your individual needs.