11.07.2019 in Society

Cultural Differences between Emiratis and Koreans

Nonverbal Communication

When regarding the nonverbal communication of the two nations – Emirati and Korean – it is vitally important to regard the nonverbal communication particularities of both. The nonverbal communication comprises of the numerous aspects which lack the verbal form of expressing thoughts, ideas and concepts. The gestures are important emotional expression as a category of non-verbal behavior and have to be regarded from the perspective of the intercultural communication.
While discussing the situation of cooperation partners, the facial expressions that inadvertently ‘reveal’ the interlocutors’ emotional state, emotions serve as a channel of involuntary transfer of information. For Koreans, the pitch of the voice, the body position and the head’s movements towards the partner are of an importance. Moreover, they think it is absolutely unacceptable to look at a person ‘eye to eye.’ This approach is appropriate in the situation of confrontation of the enemies. In the Eastern tradition, the way people look at each other signifies whether they are enemies or just rude people. In a situation of positive communication, respect for a partner, from the point of view of Korean people, can manifest in a fixed gaze only at the level of the partner’s shoulder.
Oppositely to Koreans, Emirati population has a certain amount of other non-verbal patterns. In the UAE, for instance, there are specific gestures and facial expressions, misinterpretation of which could lead to misunderstandings. For example, to show a request for ‘wait a minute’ the Emirati stack up three fingers in a pinch and turn them up. When welcoming the a good friend, an Arab lift his hand, palm forward and will wave it. Sign of denial in the UAE culture is completely different from Korean: it presupposes rocking a head from side to side, while Emirati toss their head back, raised their eyebrows. Refusal of bad things in the Arab world is referred to as ‘cleansing’ hands on one another, with the arms bent at the elbows.
Korean culture also uses different types of bows, dating back to the Buddhist ritual symbols. Nowadays, however, their field of application is limited to purely religious sphere of the religion. Therefore, the shape of bows, which the modern Koreans use in the communication process, have been borrowed from Confucian teachings. The depth of the bow, depending on the communication situation varies and reflects the social status of the communicants. The lower torso angle is, the higher status in society of a person is. A Korean bow is accomplished by bending at the waist and the head 30, 45, 90 degrees.
The 30 degrees bows are, for instance, used for people, whose social status is higher. Usually a non-verbal symbol is a response to the bow to the communication partner. Also, this type of bow can be used by both parties in an informal setting, if the social status is equal to the communicants. The 45 degrees bow is a typical non-verbal symbol of greeting and farewell Koreans.  The 90 degrees bow is considered to be a manifestation of excessive politeness in contemporary Korean society is not welcome. At the moment, the Republic of Korea due to the influence of Confucian traditions are preserved certain etiquette rules governing the process of making bows.
The Emirati attitude toward friendship is manifested in a number of gestures. If the relationship between the two Emirati people are strong, then, after shaking hands, they pressed cheeks to each other, kiss each other’s hands. If the two Arabs are at a considerable distance from each other, then a greeting is as follows: Arab holds up his right hand, directs it forward, waving his hand, welcoming.
Another example of the Korean gestures is the position of the female legs. A woman in the presence of a male should not sit with jointed legs, while throwing one leg over the other. Traditionally, such behavior is condemned and considered to be inappropriate in Korean culture. Also the girls are not allowed sitting having their legs wide apart. The optimal position of the body while sitting on a chair for women is when the knees are brought together, legs are perpendicular to the floor (Lustig & Koester, 2003).
Emirati people are generous when making a compliment. Arabs love compliments. It does not matter who a person is. They have a habit to touch each other’s cheeks. Basically, this gesture is addressed to women. Technique is as follows: the index finger of the right hand to make quick clockwise rotation on the right cheek at the site of the proposed dimples. This gesture is frequently accompanied by a verbal utterance of his admiration (Michael, 2014).

Cultural Patterns

The Emirati understanding of etiquette prohibits the resort to straightforward answers to be definitive. During a conversation, Emirati people have a tendency to avoid nervousness and haste. Entrepreneurs express denial of the most softened, a veiled form. For the representatives of the Arab countries one of the most important elements of the negotiations is the establishment of trust between business partners (Lustig & Koester, 2003). They prefer a preliminary study of details discussed in the negotiations issues. In the UAE, the Islamic traditions are of a great importance (Mahir, 2007).
The Korean cultural patterns are centered on strict following the traditions which trace back to the ancient times. The traditions along with the religious outlooks have a tendency to create the essential cultural patterns the nation possesses. The way the various events which take place within the country are organized shows that the nation is fond of the order and purity. Thus, they would require the same treatment being in another country.
The cultural patterns have a close interconnection with the communication particularities. For instance, regardless of the most recent changes, the traditional Confucian structure of social relations is still to a large extent determines the behavior of the Koreans. Age and social status are important. It is believed that the younger age or standing lower social status are obliged to follow the wishes of older without objection. Therefore, the Korean people are often interested in age, marital status person in order to determine their position in relation to that person. These questions are asked not out of idle curiosity (Guile, 2003). Koreans do not like excessive displays of emotion and usually restrict direct physical contact polite handshake.
In the UAE, the touching between persons of the same sex who are in a close, friendly relationship, is quite acceptable in Korea. Public displays of affection between different genders, such as kissing and hugging, are not so rare nowadays, as it had been before, but still considered as obscene.
In Korea, it is considered to be indecent to have bare feet in the presence of the elders, it is recommended to always wear socks or stockings when visiting a Korean family. Among the younger generation of Koreans is considered quite normal to pay a purse, but it often happens that someone is paying one of the company of friends or colleagues (De Mente, 2012) . Earlier in Korea it was considered impolite to talk while eating, but these days it is allowed to talk and laugh at the table.
As for the UAE, since the moment when geologists have tried to find water under the desert sands, 50 years has been passed. While drilling test conducted, and as a result, found oil instead of water. Even now in the UAE oil cheaper than water, despite the fact that the ‘black gold’ has changed the life of an Arab state. Shepherds of goats and camels, fishermen and peasants, who until that moment lived in poverty, suddenly became incredibly rich. Profits from the sale of oil allowed to start a large-scale infrastructure development program. The country has laid 3,300 km of highway, although prior to 1970 the main means of transport there were horses and camel caravans.
As soon as the oil had been found and the oil deposits of the Emirates have been developed, the unemployment disappeared. In fact it served as an opportunity to provide the foreigners with the jobs. Today, most of the population are immigrants, 61% of the four million people – Arabs and 22% of South Asians, 8% – Iranians, so the people here speak different languages ​​and practice different religions. Historically, almost all except the indigenous Arabs, speak English. Immigrants from India speak Hindi and Farsi. 96% of the population are Muslims. Christians and Hindus make up only 4% (Mahir, 2007). Being in the country, show respect for religion, culture and customs of the locals. Women are better not to cause wear miniskirts and clothes with great cleavage (Lustig & Koester, 2003). On the beaches, it is strictly prohibited to go bathing topless and naked, protection of civil order works very well, and women can feel safe traveling alone.

Communication Strategies of Emirati while Serving Koreans in Expo2020

In order to promote the best quality services and provide the best organization of the Expo2020 event, it is necessary to precisely regard several – the most essential – communication strategies which are of a great importance when international communication is expected to take place. Due to the fact that a wide range of nations is going to be presented in the event, it is necessary to familiarize the personnel with the norms and rules they have to follow in order not to cause the inappropriate situations of misinterpretation and misunderstandings.
Thus, for instance, it is of an importance to pay as much attention as possible to the non-verbal communication, since the gestures and looks can cause the unnecessary situations which would results in rudeness. The success of the organization of the Expo2020 event consists in the additional intercultural training of the participants and personnel of the event. The way people behave is of an importance, since it concerns the future relations establishment. The necessity in the proper communication strategies has to result in obtaining the necessary skills and techniques which would contribute to the proper delivery of the services necessary for the event.

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