15th ASEAN University Games Language and Culture Review


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15th ASEAN University Games Language and Culture Review

  1. 1. ASEAN University Games Training Seminar Culture and Language ResourcesReviewing these key cultural do’s and don’ts will go far in showing ourinternational guest that you respect and appreciate their culture, enriching yourASEAN University Games experience.
  2. 2. The ASEAN University Games, is organized by the ASEANUniversity Sports Council which is composed of the universitysports associations from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia,Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore,Thailand, Timor Leste, Vietnam.The mission of AUSC is:To strengthen international ties, appreciation and understandingamongst the students in ASEAN.To encourage the development of programs in physicaleducation, sports and educational recreation in ASEAN. 2
  3. 3. Brunei DarussalamThe official name, Negara Brunei Darussalam, loosely translates to “The Countryof Brunei, Abode of Peace.”Head of State:His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Muizzaddin WaddaulahCapital: Bandar Seri BegawanLanguage(s): Malay, EnglishCulture / Do’s and Don’tsThe official religion of Brunei is Islam, though you will find Buddhists, Christians,and a number of other beliefs as well. Bruneians are generally very tolerant andwill understand that foreigners are not familiar with all of their customs andIslamic traditions. • Bruneians observe the local dress code and dress modestly. • Bruneians shake hands by lightly touching the hands and then bringing the hand to the chest. Some people do not to shake hands with members of the opposite sex. • You should not point with your finger; instead, use the thumb of your right hand with the four fingers folded beneath it. • You should not pass in front of a person in prayer or touch the Koran. • Gifts (particularly food) should only be passed with the right hand, although it is acceptable to use the left hand to support the right wrist. Avoid giving or receiving with the left hand or pointing the soles of your feet towards other people while receiving. • It is polite to accept even just a little food and drink when offered. When refusing anything offered, it is polite to touch the plate lightly with the right hand. • During the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, Muslims do not take food from sunrise to sundown. It would be inconsiderate to eat or drink in their presence during this period. 3
  4. 4. Cambodia(Preăh Réachéa Nachâk Kâmpŭchéa), "Kingdom of Cambodia"Head of State:His Majesty King Norodom SihamonCapital: Phnom PenhLanguage(s): Khmer, or Cambodian, EnglishSmile, relax and have fun are the big "dos". Cambodia is a mainly Buddhistcountry (95% of the population are Theravada Buddhists) and the religion has a biginfluence in the countrys culture and habits. The people in Cambodia understandthat foreigners may not be familiar with all of their customs, but by showing arespectful effort you will gain trust, friendship, and have a better overall ASEANUniversity Games experience. • Dont walk over a persons feet. • Dont use your feet to point at someone. • Dont raise your feet on tables or chairs. • When you sit, women must sit knees bent and legs to the side. • Do not use your left hand to touch, eat, or hand someone something. • Pointing with your index finger is considered rude. Instead, gesture with your right hand palm-up. • Dont start to eat when you are a guest at the dinner table before your host has taken a bite. • Dont burp while eating. • Dont pick your teeth while eating. • Dont touch someone on the head, it is considered vey impolite. • Avoid aggression and confrontation at all costs, raised voices and loss of temper are considered extremely rude. • When you walk between two Cambodians talking, bow a little as you across them (it is really rude to walk straight through them without bowing a little). • Ask permission before you take photos of people, some people are shy and do not like being portrayed. 4
  5. 5. Indonesia"Unity in Diversity", Republic of IndonesiaHead of State / Goverment:President Susilo Bambang YudhoyonoCapital: JakartaLanguage(s): Indonesian or Bahasa Indonesian, (Minangkabau or Javanese),Malay, EnglishAlthough it is not an Islamic state, Indonesia is the worlds most populous Muslim-majority nation, with 86.1% of Indonesians declared Muslim. It is made up of over17,500 islands (6,000 of which are inhabited) which are home to over 300 ethnicgroups. • Greetings can be rather formal as they are meant to show respect. A handshake is the most common greeting accompanied with the word "Selamat". • Many Indonesians may give a slight bow or place their hands on their heart after shaking your hand. • If you are being introduced to several people, always start with the eldest or most senior person first. • Titles are important in Indonesia as they signify status. If you know of any titles ensure you use them in conjunction with the name. • Any food substance should be "halal" - things that are not halal include anything with alcoholic ingredients or anything with pork derivatives such as gelatine. Halal meat means the animal has been slaughtered according to Islamic principles. • Offer gifts with the right hand only. • Dining etiquette is generally relaxed but depends on the setting and context. • Wait to be shown to your place - as a guest you will have a specific position. • Wait to be invited to eat before you start. • Eat or pass food with your right hand only. 5
  6. 6. LaosMeuang Lao which literally means "Lao Country"Head of State: President Choummaly Sayasone,Secretary-General of the LPRPHead of Government: Prime Minister Bouasone BouphavanhCapital: VientianeLanguage(s): Laotian or Lao, French, EnglishTheravada Buddhism is a dominant influence in Lao culture.The Lao are very friendly and hospitable and minimum efforts will yourespect the Lao culture and you will earn its respect in turn. • A formal greeting for most Lao people is the “Nop” (joining one’s hands together in a praying gesture at chin level) similar to Thai Wai. • Handshakes are also commonly used among male friends and with foreign visitors. • The head is considered high. It is not acceptable to touch Lao people’s heads. • Feet are low. Placing them on furniture or pointing at things or people with your feet is not acceptable. • Personal cleanliness is valued highly in Laos. Anyone who has strong body odor tends to get disgusting looks. • It is polite to gently crouch down when walking past someone who is seated, especially older people • Stepping over someone on your path is very impolite, similarly stepping over food is disgusting and some Lao won’t eat the food that has been stepped over. • Despite the heat, Lao/Laotians dress conservatively. • You might find it hard to communicate with locals if you don’t speak Lao especially in the countryside where not many people speak English. If things don’t quite work the way you expect, remember to keep cool, 6
  7. 7. don’t lose your temper or raise your voice. It won’t help; it will only make you look bad. MalaysiaBersekutu Bertambah Mutu "Unity Is Strength”Head of State:Yang di-Pertuan Agong, referred to as "the Head" or "The Agong”. TheAgong is an elected monarch chosen from amongst the hereditary rulers of thenine Malay statesCapital: Kuala LumpurLanguage(s): Bahasa Malaysia, Malaysian Standard EnglishThe Malaysian constitutional-monarchy guarantees freedom of religion, althoughIslam is the largest and official religion of Malaysia. Malaysia is a multi—ethnic,multicultural and multilingual society. The main ethnic groups are the nativeMalays as well as large populations of Chinese, and Indians. The country is clearthat the ethnicities retain their religions, customs and way of life. The mostimportant festivals of each group are public holidays. • Greetings in a social context will depend upon the ethnicity of the person you are meeting. In general, most Malays are aware of Western ways so the handshake is normal. There may be slight differences though and a few things to bear in mind include: • Malay women may not shake hands with men. Women can of course shake hands with women. Men may also not shake hands with women and may bow instead while placing their hand on their heart. • The Chinese handshake is light and may be rather prolonged. Men and women may shake hands, although the woman must extend her hand first. Many older Chinese lower their eyes during the greeting as a sign of respect. • Indians shake hands with members of the same sex. When being introduced to someone of the opposite sex, nodding the head and smiling is usually sufficient. Among all cultures, there is a general tendency to introduce: • The most important person to the lower ranking person, the older person to the younger person, women to men. 7
  8. 8. MyanmarRepublic of the Union of MyanmarHead of State: Senior General Than ShweCapital: NaypyidawLanguage(s): Burmese, EnglishTheravada Buddhism is a dominant influence in Myanmar culture.The Myanmar people are very friendly helpful, honest, but proud and hospitablewith minimum efforts will you respect the Myanmar culture and you will earn itsrespect in turn.• When addressing people, dont leave out U (which stands for Mr) or Daw (which stands for Ms/Mrs).• Speak slowly and clearly.• Not always necessary to shake hands.• Dont hug or kiss in public.• Dont touch any adult on the head.• Dont step over any part of a person, as it is considered rude.• Accept or give things with your right hand.• In Myanmar, unlike the Indian continent, nodding means YES, and shaking head means NO.• Let the oldest be served first. 8
  9. 9. Philippines"For God, People, Nature, and Country" Republic of the PhilippinesHead of State: President Benigno Aquino IIICapital: ManilaLanguage(s): Filipino (formerly Pilipino) is based on Tagalog, EnglishMore than 90% of the population is Christians: about 80% belong to the RomanCatholic Church while 10% belong to other Christian denominations. Philippineculture is a combination of Eastern and Western cultures. The Philippines exhibitsaspects found in other Asian countries with a Malay heritage, yet its culture alsodisplays a significant amount of Spanish and American influences. • Hiyas shame and is a motivating factor behind behavior. • Filipinos believe they must live up to the accepted standards of behavior and if they fail to do so they bring shame not only upon themselves, but also upon their family. • If someone is publicly embarrassed, criticized, or does not live up to expectations, they feel shame and lose self-esteem. • Initial greetings are formal and follow a set protocol of greeting the eldest or most important person first. • A handshake, with a welcoming smile, is the standard greeting. • Close female friends may hug and kiss when they meet. • Use academic, professional, or honorific titles and the persons surname until you are invited to use their first name, or even more frequently, their nickname. • Dress well. Appearances matter and you will be judged on how you dress. • Wait to be told where to sit. There may be a seating plan. • Do not start eating until the host invites you to do so. 9
  10. 10. Singapore"Onward, Singapore" Republic of SingaporeHead of State:Capital: SingaporeLanguage(s): English, Malay, Chinese (Mandarin), TamilSingapore is a multi-ethnic society where Chinese, Malay and Indian traditionscoexist beneath the veneer of a western cosmopolitan metropolis. The three mainethnic groups are religiously and culturally diverse. • Greetings will follow a strict protocol often based on both the ethnic origin and age of the person. • Younger people or those who work in multi-national companies may have adopted the western concept of shaking hands with everyone, but this is not the case with older or more reserved Singaporeans. • Ethnic Chinese shake hands. Their grasp is rather light although the handshake itself can be rather prolonged. • Men and women may shake hands, although the woman must extend her hand first. Introductions are always done in order of age or status. • Between men, ethnic Malays shake hands. • Men and women do not traditionally shake hands, since Muslim men do not touch women in public. • Younger Malays may shake hands with foreign women, but it is more appropriate to use the salaam (bowing the head) greeting. • This is also the greeting to be used when two women meet. • Ethnic Indians shake hands with members of the same sex. • When being introduced to someone of the opposite sex, nodding the head and smiling is usually sufficient. • As with the other groups, the elderly or the person with the most status is introduced first. 10
  11. 11. ThailandKingdom of ThailandHead of State: His Majesty King Bhumibol AdulyadejHead of Government: Prime Minister Abhisit VejjajivaCapital: BangkokLanguage(s): Thai, EnglishThe national religion is Theravada Buddhism. Thai culture has been shaped bymany influences, including Chinese, Lao, Burmese, Cambodian, and Indian. Thaisknow that foreign visitors have their own customs and different ways of doingthings, but if you are aware of some of the do’s and don’ts you will earn respectfrom your Thai hosts.Most importantly of all, be particularly careful about respecting Buddhism andthe Thai Royal Family.The Thai people have a deep traditional reverence for the Royal Family, and thevisitor should also show respect for the King and the Queen, and the RoyalChildren. When attending a public event where a member of the Royal Family ispresent, the best guide on how to behave is to watch the crowd and do as it does. • Do respect all Buddha images. • Do dress properly when visiting a temple. • Do treat monks with the highest respect. • Do lower your body slightly when passing between or in front of people. • Do smile a lot. • Do enjoy yourself. Thais like life to be sanuk. Do keep both feet on the ground when sitting. • Do offer and receive anything with your right hand always. • Do exercise tolerance, particularly when it comes to order food, pay a bill or waiting for change. Do use the wai correctly. A Westerner should never wai first and anyone who is. 11
  12. 12. • Do wai an elderly person.• Do sit in the place indicated by your friend.• Do ask for a receipt if you pay for a room/apartment in advance more than a day.• Do make sure your laundry is your laundry when it’s returned.• Don’t cross your legs when you are in the presence of a monk. This applies whether you are sitting on the floor or in a chair.• Dont place your feet so that they point towards a person, religious image or picture of the Royal family.• Don’t touch a Thai woman without consent. The majority of Thai women are conservative.• Don’t be overly affectionate in public.• Don’t worry too much about whether you should wai or not.• Don’t touch a Thai person’s head or ruffle their hair. Apologize if you accidentally touch somebody’s head.• Don’t place your feet on the table while sitting, don’t point to anything with your feet and don’t touch anybody with your feet.• Don’t raise your voice or lose your temper; try and be jai yen.• Don’t take Buddha images out of the country. Strictly speaking it is against the law.• Buddhist monks are forbidden to touch or be touched by a woman, or to accept anything from the hand of one.• Women should ensure that their legs and shoulders are covered before entering a Buddhist temple. Please do not wear shorts.• Dont point with the forefinger at anyone.• Dont step over any part of another person.• Dont step on the door threshold.• Accept things with your right hand. 12
  13. 13. Timor-LesteDemocratic Republic of Timor-LesteHead of State: President José Ramos-HortaHead of Government: Prime Minister Xanana GusmãoCapital: DiliLanguage(s): Tetum, Portuguese, Indonesian EnglishEast Timor became one of only two predominantly Roman Catholic countries inAsia (97%). Most social courtesies are fairly formal. Many conventions will besimilar to those of Indonesia (despite their political and religious differences) andmany old East Timorese conventions will doubtless come to the fore in the comingyears.East Timor is a relatively small island nation yet full of surprises. "A great deal ina small package".Its terrain changes from majestic mountain ranges, the highest peak being MtRamelau at 2963 meters above sea level, to grassy plains, tropical rainforests,swamps, white and black sand beaches and pristine coral reefs all within a fewhours drive....Its people are proud, shy yet friendly. When engaged, will reward you with aprompt smile opening the door for a journey of adventure and discovery of placesthat only locals would know to share with you!This is a mainly Catholic country where religion coexists with Animism, modernwith the ancient and where many cultures intermingle. Animist beliefs andpractices provide the background for the creation of legends and myths passed onfrom generation to generation.Dili, the capital, and other major towns are safe, laid back and still display much ofthe Old Portuguese architecture and monuments. 13
  14. 14. VietnamSocialist Republic of VietnamHead of State: President Nguyễn Minh TriếtHead of Government: Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn DũngCapital: HanoiLanguage(s): Vietnamese, EnglishGenerally, Vietnamese people are very appreciative if they see you trying to abideby their customs, and very forgiving if you get it wrong or forget. If you make theeffort, you will be rewarded. Vietnamese society has a fair amount of publicetiquette. The following are some of the more common points. • Avoid public displays of affection with a member of the opposite sex. • Do not touch someones head. • Pass all items with both hands. • Do not point with your finger - use your hand. • Do not stand with your hands on your hips. • Do not cross your arms on your chest. • Do not pass anything over someones head. • Do not touch anyone on the shoulder. • Do not touch a member of the opposite sex. • Wait to be shown where to sit. • The oldest person should sit first. • Chopsticks should be placed on the table or a chopstick rest after every few mouthfuls or when breaking to drink or speak. • People hold bowls close to their faces. • Hold the spoon in your left hand while eating soup. • Meals are typically served family-style. • Try to finish everything on your plate. • When you are finished eating, rest your chopsticks on top of your rice bowl. • Cover your mouth when using a toothpick. 14
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