“Cambodian people will think a person is rude for touching their heads. We do not know if that was the reason that 18-year old Mrs. Choun (pseudonym) stabbed her husband after marrying him from Cambodia.”Some Southeast Asian cultures do object to touching on the head, so exercise some caution in that regard. One of the things that sticks in my mind from a college course on cross-cultural communication was etiquette regarding the head and feet in neighboring Thailand. As for Cambodians, do remember not to touch them on the head, especially with a closed fist, an elbow, or a foreign object. Their culture interprets that as inappropriate, and crosscultural communication breakdown may occur.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Pay close attention to your foreign wife owner's manual.
You probably read about the story of an 18-year-old Cambodian mail-order bride arrested for attempted murder for stabbing her abusive 38-year-old Korean husband. Korea Beat has an update today which opens with an attempt to find a cultural source for this incident.