1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Working with my fellow countrymen? – no, thank you! November 15, 2012

background hand
 

I wonder how many people will confess it? I bet many.

One of the greatest advantages in living outside your country is the chance to introspect yourself on your conditionings or ideas imposed on you by your culture. It can range from fascinating to devastating! When I lived in Russia people used to tell  me I would rather move to the West because I looked and behaved not as a “typical” Russian. When I finally immigrated to Europe I was shocked to learn how VERY RUSSIAN I was :).

Another awareness-win is realisation of your attitude to your fellow countrymen. Of course you should not that normally a certain – more adventurous and probably stronger – people venture to leave their motherland. Thus the fellow countrymen you meet abroad are not exactly the same as the most left at home. But the main national patterns stay, of course.

In the subject of Intercultural Communication we learn that any immigration goes through 4 phases (honeymoon, ghetto, new motherland and bi-culturalism), and at some point many may even dislike their fellow countrymen and try to avoid (3rd phase). This is a highly useful piece of information and I would recommend every immigrant to learn a bit more about it.

But this is not our topic here.

What I noticed in my 15 years of living outside of my motherland is that people of some nations are not willing to collaborate/work  on project/hire/get hired/etc. with people of their origin mostly FOR THE REASON OF THEIR WORKING STYLE!

I have no theoretical explanation of the phenomenon, but my humble observation (from the perspective of living in Austria) shows that:

 –ex-Jugoslavians never want to work with each other, although they mostly have to

-Rumanians avoid working with each other abroad

Jew tend to hire other nationalities but not their own

Germans love to work with Germans

Indians would prefer not to work for Indians

-Russians always prefer to work with Russians

Please mind that these are generalizations and of course there are exceptions.

My personal working experience in the Human Resources field proves that when living abroad Russians prefer Russians to work with mostly because of their amazing dedication and high sense of responsibility (I bet you did not expect that from Russians :)). This does not work for Ukrainians though – Russians abroad avoid hiring Ukrainians for the opposite reason -less dedication.

Another highly puzzling case are Jew: When in Russia they always stick together and try to get as many as possible to one work place. When abroad they try to avoid working at same places, and especially those Jew who have their own businesses always hire some other foreigners but not their countrymen.

I am sure many of my readers have their own observations of this topic, therefore observations and  – moreover! explanations are heartily welcome!

P.S. please note that the title of the post “Working with my fellow countrymen? – no, thank you!” by no means reflects my personal case 😉 I love working with Russians!

Cheers,

axinia

 

Does talking about trauma really help? – Surprising study results May 25, 2009

 image by me)

Holding myself a certificate in psychology I am rather sceptical to many methods and ideas of psychological treatments. May be because I have found a more efficient way to deal with problems…may be. And even though my close and distant friends often want my psychological help, I never use any “techniques” because I believe that the heart knows better what to say.

Anyway, one of the things I find somewhat wrong is the popular treatment in trauma psychology as well as in conventional wisdom  –to make the victim talk about the happening. News reports after school shootings and other such tragedies tell how specially trained trauma psychologists flood into the affected area to encourage people to talk through their feeling and fears of what has happened. But does it actually help?

I came across a very interesting study concerning responses to the terror attacks of 9/11, with results that may surprise you. Researchers at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, invited 2,138 people, most of whom were not directly exposed to the event, to express their thoughts and feelings on the day of the attack and for several days afterward. Over the next two years the research team did follow-up online inquiries to investigate the correspondents’ mental and physical health. They found that on average, those who chose to say little or nothing about their thoughts and feelings concerning the attack were actually better off than the people who talked about it. The measures of their well-being included physician-diagnosed ailments and levels of distress, including feeling helpless and symptoms of nervousness. (more…)

 

Germany and Austria – same language, different cultures September 4, 2008

I am in Germany this week and although I know the country quite well, it is every time striking to me how Germany so much differs from Austria  – despite seemingly same language and culture.

Even if you have never been to both of them, you can imagine the difference might be in a way same like between USA and Canada, India and Pakistan, Russia and Ukraine, France and Belgium, etc… Many countries with “same” roots have sometimes less similarities with each other, than with any other country.

 

image of Frankfurt /Germany by EIPLanB

In the case of Germany and Austria, the important reason for their cultural difference and philosophy I see in the religious background. Most of the Germany is protestant with its belief in hard work and minimalism, Austria is still under that strong influence of the Catholic church with its take to showing off the riches, hierarchy and “connections”. The impact of that attitude is so obvious for an outsider like me, especially in terms of money: Germans are in generally richer than Austrians, at the same time they are much less generous and too “economical”, if not say greedy (sorry to say so but that is my personal impression). Germans keep talking about saving money all the time!! – Austrians like to moan about hard life in general 🙂

One more interesting thing is (more…)

 

Nikola Tesla on partiotism, science and the future of mankind July 28, 2008

 

image by axinia

image by axinia

You may remember my fascination for Nikola Tesla, that great genius of the 20th century (read my post on his awesome personality here). He was not only an inventor of Leonardo da Vinci caliber, but also a great visioneer of the future of humanity.

Interestingly, he saw the key to the happy future in the science serving people. And his understanding of science was rather spiritual, than materialistic. He saw science as a living process, the matter as a being. In fact, he was the only human being known who could controll and produce the lightning.

In that respect  I find it intresting to read his thoughts on the possbile (glorious!) future of mankind – and see, how such things like patriotism and science could be connected:

“As long as there are different nationalities, there will be patriotism. This feeling must be eradicated from our hearts before permanent peace can be established. Its place must be filled by love of nature and scientific ideal. Science and discovery are the great forces which will lead to that consummation….The consequences of such an advance are incalculable. (more…)

 

The world is getting happier – study says July 14, 2008

 image by axinia

It is probably one of the most surprising findings over the last years – while the media keep showing us the disastrous pictures of our life, the recent study shows the amazing dynamics of happiness all over the world!

The world is getting happier, according to the cumbersome but compelling World Values Survey released Monday by the National Science Foundation, which managed to track and quantify joy among 350,000 people in 97 countries over a quarter of century.

“The happiness index rose in an overwhelming majority of nations studied,” the study said.

Denmark is at the top of the list – with India, Ireland, Mexico and South Korea experiencing a “steeply rising” level of happiness in the survey that asked respondents to succinctly rate their subjective sense of well-being and life satisfaction. Everyone was apparently happy to do so. The survey had an “exceptionally high” 97 percent response rate.

Zimbabwe, meanwhile, is in last place. Things aren’t so jovial in Armenia, Pakistan and Rwanda – among the last 19 nations on the roster. For them, national contentment flagged into the statistically negative zone.

Americans are in the comfortably warm and fuzzy upper levels. The U.S.ranked No. 16, behind Canada, Sweden, El Salvador and New Zealand but in front of Britain, Germany, France and Italy. (more…)

 

 
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