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Father Knows Best!

Yesterday I had a pretty heated discussion with my wife and daughter, both Dutch (I’m American) in which daughter, 18, was making statements such as “They don’t need to build any more mosques here in the Netherlands; there’s already enough,” and “It should be forbidden for my colleagues to speak Turkish amongst themselves at work. Dutch country + Dutch company = Dutch language.”  These statements were endorsed and seconded by my wife.

Coincidentally, I found a supporting voice this morning in the culture trainer Maureen Rabotin, in which she mentioned the book she’s writing, together with ASTD, “The 4-R’s of Globalization: Respect, Relationships, Recognition and Rewards.” You can read more from Maureen at her website here: www.effectivegloballeadership.com.

The foundation of my counterargument to my wife and daughter (where does one begin?!!!) had to do with Maureen’s first “R”: respect. “If they respect you by not talking about you in Turkish behind your back [the classic xenophobic reaction] and you respect their right to their culture, there shouldn’t be any problem, should there?”

Even though they grudgingly granted me credit, I realized that my largest challenge as a culture expert is with my own family.

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Leo Salazar

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