Friday, March 13, 2009

When cultures collide

There are just some things that you wouldn’t think would be cultural differences. You expect clothes, food, greetings etc to be different when you are in a different culture, but others just surprise you. For example, names. Whenever Carla and I introduce ourselves at churches with our full name, there’s a collective gasp in the audience. Here, your last name is actually the name of your father – when you get married, your last name is still the name of your family. When I introduce myself as “Joao (Jon) Reinagel”, then Carla introduces herself as “Carla Reinagel”, the audience naturally assumes I married my sister! No wonder several pastors have taken the mic after us and explain what’s going on! Now, we just introduce ourselves by our first names unless asked.

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