Cross cultural difference 1: men sitting cross-legged

One of the reasons I didn’t post much last week is that I was coaching a pair of students for our college’s academic conference. Naturally, my team won.

One of the things they mentioned was a personalization that really grabbed the attention of the audience because I have this male student who spent three years in Boston in high school. He would often sit cross-legged, the way American women but very few American men do.

I know that it’s common for men to sit this way in parts of Asia, certainly in Korea and Vietnam. I’m told it’s common in parts of Europe as well. In America and Venezuela it’s feminine – seeing a man sit like that means he might be gay.

This made for an interesting cultural difference for my student visiting America. The way he sat told people he was feminine or gay in America but it didn’t say anything back home in Korea and he didn’t want to communicate that he was feminine or gay in America.

Anyway, hopefully some of you found this little cultural difference interesting. I’m starting a new category here on the blog so there are more cultural differences coming. For now, if you’ve experienced this cultural difference or have anything related to sitting style to share, please leave a comment.

Filed Under: Cultural differences

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