COURSE: Intercultural Communication in Business – Essay – Cultural Insights

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction. 2

1.1 Overview of the Individual Cultural Demography and Background. 2

1.2 Purpose of this Assessment. 2

2.0 History of Cultural Group; Values and Assumptions of the Cultural System.. 2

2.1 History of Cultural Group. 2

2.2 Values of Operating in the Cultural System.. 3

2..3 Assumptions in the Cultural System.. 4

3.0 Similarities and Differences of F1 and Bahrain Culture. 4

4.0 Analysis of the Context of Interactions. 6

4.1 Impact on Culture on Communication. 6

4.2 Power Position compared to Culture of Interaction. 6

5.0 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Application to Observed Culture. 7

6.0 Conclusion. 10

References. 11

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Overview of the Individual Cultural Demography and Background

The individual interviewed (F1) is a friend. F1 ethnicity is an Indian despite being born in Bahrain. He studied Bachelor of Commerce (BCOM) in Bahrain. Despite being an Indian and speak both Indian and Arabia, his parents had migrated to Bahrain and as such he was born in the country. Further, the friend religion is a Christian and as such involved in multiple religious celebrations and occasions. In particular, F1 majorly relate with Orthodox Catholics. In the broad Indian culture, Christian/orthodox culture is identified as a major part of life for F1, his family and relatives. Despite of ascribing to the Orthodox Catholic religion, F1 highlighted on the aspect of Diwali which is an ancient Hindu festival which is celebrated in Autumn by many Indians. Further, F1, profession is an IT professional. They are involved in developing websites and applications for major companies in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia (KSA). Their company is the developer of Nafath application in Saudi Arabia which allows for a unified central access for all service providers through a verification of their user identity (NAFATH, 2022). 

1.2 Purpose of this Assessment

In this essay, it is based on an interview session conducted with a friend (F1). The purpose of this interview was to understand their culture and history. This has been achieved by using various questions regarding their culture and experience in Middle east. Based on this, the purpose of this assessment is to evaluate how this is found fitting with the Hofstede’s assertions of cultural dimensions.

2.0 History of Cultural Group; Values and Assumptions of the Cultural System

2.1 History of Cultural Group

For the purpose of understanding an individual better, evaluating their cultural history is important. According to Gibbons et al. (2021) this is by being in a position of gaining insights from the data for gaining an improved understanding of different cultural worldviews. From the data obtained by interviewing F1, the history of their culture is doublefold. First, he argued about the Indians in Bahrain where they started migrated to the country many years ago. This is supported by Bunagan and Sison (2019) which noted that Indians in Bahrain culture history dates backs in 3000BCE at the time of Dilmun civilisation. Secondly, F1 noted on the history of the Christianity (Church) and particularly the Orthodox Catholics which date back in 1970s and 1980s. F1 noted that the religion popularity increased in early 2000 todate where the number has substantially increased. This is supported by Euronews (2022) report which identify Orthodox Catholics as currently being comprised of 160,000 members.

2.2 Values of Operating in the Cultural System

The values in a culture identify the ideas on what is good, right, fair and just. According to Rusu (2020)identify the need for consideration of the conflict theory which evidence values differing between different groups. This is functionalism prioritising on shared values within a culture. It is in this regard that F1 was asked on the values of his culture. From the findings obtained in the interview, F1 classified their values into religion, society, and family. In regard to religion, the God being worshiped is respected by respective religion. Similar to Singh (2018) findings, majority of the Indian culture population at 79.8% worship Hinduism, 14.2% being Islam, 2.3% Christianity, 1.7% Sikhism, 0.7% Buddhism and only 0.4% Jainism. For instance, in line with Kennedy et al. (2018), F1 highlighted how Hindu culture identify a cow as being a sacred animal. Additionally, F1 noted on the society values which are identified to be anchored on competition. The existing multiple social groups in the culture such as the rich, poor, middle-class and more work hard to leverage from the others in the society. This is by achieving a high-level status in such a society. For instance, the poor work hard to at least gain the middle class positioning. This is with the rich competing hard to maintain their high positioning in the society. Nevertheless, according to F1, the high-level competitiveness does not affect the harmony of the society. This is supported by Scheiner (2022) which identified the Indian culture as being defined with collectivism and harmony. This is through maintaining a unified and interdependent community or family support system for relying on every day. Considering the family values, F1 noted that they believe on the institution of marriage. However, inter-religion marriage is not accepted in the Indian culture. For instance, a Christian cannot marry a Hindu or a Muslim and vice versa.

2..3 Assumptions in the Cultural System

Adopting the definition of Scheiner (2022) the cultural assumptions identify what is normal/natural in each social situation or human condition. Often, people or the overall social groups have attributes which are not matching with the different socially defined natural states. A major assumption highlighted by F1 is the favoritism which is characteristic of respect granted to the top members of the society. The rich in the Indian culture are almost worshipped as they are viewed as successful in dominating their community. Apart from favoritism of the rich in Indian culture, F1 similarly argued on the extent in which parents prefer their sons to marry from rich families. Further, similar to Mukherjee (2018) findings, F1 argued on the preference given to the arranged marriage without any coercion. The rationale of this assumption is due to the increased peace and harmony which is found to be in existence in the community.

3.0 Similarities and Differences of F1 and Bahrain Culture

In order to understand the similarities and differences of the cultures, it is essential to evaluate Indian and Bahrain culture. A major recurring theme in regard to similarities is the strict family and religious values and practices which are evident in both cultures. For instance, in regard to family, both cultures embrace the arranged marriage as the popular method adopted in both cultures. This is with the inter-religious marriages being unpopular in both cultures. This is supported by Gomaa (2021) which argued that albeit of the modernised and cosmopolitan outlook, Bahrain is currently primarily an Arabic culture. The rationale of this is that today, there are an upward of 350,000 Indians in the country which is an evidence of goodwill enjoyed by the Indians in Bahrain. In Indian and Bahrain, the arranged marriage entail discussing with groom and agreeing on the dowry and eventually paying the bride price. In both cultures, both legal and religious representatives are involved actively in the legalisation of the marriage.

Considering the differences, while divorce is popular in Bahrain culture, this is not acceptable in Indian culture. The rationale of this is that they view marriage as sacred.  As F1 noted, since the time immemorial, divorce has been popular in the society particularly when issues with finances are involved. Another core difference in both cultures is how women are engaged in society leadership. in Indian culture context, F1 argued that the inclusion of women is increasingly becoming popular. This is while being allowed to have a say in all activities. Despite of this, Bahrain is making significant strides as evidenced in Al A’ali (2021) where currently, they have more than 50.2% in terms of voting rights in the Council of Representatives. Nevertheless, with partly 70,000 of women holding valid driving licence in Bahrain as opposed to more than 300,000 men is an indicator of the existing disparities. Finally on differences, in Bahrain, the most popular religion is Muslim as opposed to Hindu which is popular in India. Further, diversity as evident from F1 data is more prominent in India as opposed to Bahrain. In specific, State.Gov (2022) argue that 99% of Bahrain citizens are Muslim with Christians, Hindus, Baha’is and Jews comprising of 1%. Amongst the Indian population, with 80% being Hindus, 15% are Islam and 3% being Christianity.

4.0 Analysis of the Context of Interactions

4.1 Impact on Culture on Communication

In its definition, Apriyanto and Nurhayaty (2019) argue that culture in which an individual has socialised has an influence on their communication and manner in which people communicate could alter their culture……………………………

Please click the icon below to receive this assessment in full