Cultural diffrences between the Netherlands and Japan: Be Dutch !

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Feb 19, 2012 02:47
Yesterday, my Lang-8 friend taught me a new word “connotation.” I did not know this word and felt it is interesting, since I found that there is a way of thinking “connotation” in English language.

I speak English in my ordinary life for three years in the Netherlands, but I did not know the word "connotation", because of Dutch culture I think.

When I did some group works in university in the Netherlands, my Dutch classmates often said “Hey, be Dutch!!!” It means that “don’t think too much alone.” For example, if we have to submit a report until next Monday and a group mate did not come to a meeting. The group mate wanted to write the topic A, but I also wanted to write the topic A. Then, my Dutch friend said “Hey, be Dutch !!! You just send an e-mail to her like ‘I’d like to write the topic A, because you did not come today’s meeting and we have to finish the report within a few days. We don’t have much time to wait for you and to write the report. Just inform us which part you will do, please. ’” It sounds very simple for me. The Dutch girl and my Dutch supervisors always say “don’t think too much alone, even you cannot know what the other think. If you want to know what the other think, just ask the person directly.” I like “being Dutch” time to time now.

If I use Japanese style, I might give up doing the topic A consciously before asking the group mate what she wants to do. Since I have known that my group mate wanted to do it, even though I don’t know that she changed her mind. Furthermore, I might send an e-mail like “how are you ? I wish you will be fine soon. We had a meeting today and discussed …See you soon.” I might not mention the topic A. We, Japanese, try to understand connotations and somebody’s thoughts without direct discussion, since we hope that the situation is settled always.

I have been staying in the Netherlands for three years and found many nice things. But I have to learn how to use these diffrences properly, otherwise I will be a strange person in both countries. ^^