When Cultural Identity Doesn’t Matter

  With all of the emphasis in intercultural communications on recognizing and embracing one’s cultural identity, it’s important to remember that while acknowledging someone’s ethnicity may be natural, it also may have no connection whatsoever to the meaning of the interaction at hand, as with this playful ad by Wieden + Kennedy for Swagger by…

Intercultural Bridges: Explaining the Chinese New Year In English to Lithuanians

 I took Dillon and one of his classmates to the Chinese New Year parade in Chicago’s Chinatown yesterday.  You have to love culture in an urban environment:  there were dragons and lion dancers and colorful floats from various Asian-American Chambers of Commerce, but also the Irish Shamrock Rovers and marching bands and drill teams from…

Obama Is Black. McCain is White.

Okay, now I’ve said it, so what’s next?  Traditional diversity trainings and rules of political correctness dictate you should suppress that instinct to notice race or be declared a racist.  The fact is that categorization is an innate survival response dating back to the era of the hunter/gatherer:  Edible, non-edible? Male-female?  Friend-foe?  Rather than suppress…

Integrating Your Multicultural Programming into your Business Culture

 Reaching out to diverse audiences is often a discussion heard in the marketing department of large corporations.  For companies who have made a commitment to multicultural marketing, this can serve as a platform to promote team building and employee morale by leveraging your external goals to create internal programming.  Here’s how: If your company is…