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Word Count: 1,096
Although 20th century advances in transportation and communications promise a smaller more accessible world we each perceive that world through our personal experiences and cultural development Language is one of the most obvious and one of the most complicated defining features of a culture Each of us belongs to many groups that function in ways similar to larger cultures Not all cross-cultural experiences take place in other countries or between people who speak foreign languages or come from different racial backgrounds Attending worship services for example with a friend who holds different religious beliefs is a cross-cultural experience Still cross-cultural contact is a fact of our local national and global lives It is more important than ever that each of us develop a perspective that celebrates diversity and tolerance With that important factors must be taken into consideration when conducting business different business protocols that are expected greeting behaviors between different cultures and religion morals and the superstitions of that culture It is best to seek guidance and advice at the outset of a business meeting rather than when its too late or difficult to make appropriate reparations In the United States we are used to the type of business practices that portray the take charge attitude In fact you are looked upon more highly when that initiative is presented Typical meetings usually begin with the short informal hellos and handshakes When we ask How are you doing we really dont care In America greetings are just a formality Being aware of what is considered good or offensive manners is relevant prior to meeting potential business colleagues from different countries In Moroccan Arabic the standard basic greeting is Salam oo-alley koom It translates literally to Peace be unto you The appropriate response is Oo-alley koom salam meaning And unto you peace But knowing the words is not enough Greetings in Morocco will go on for many minutes--sometimes up to half an hour--as the parties
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