Hall’s cultural factors. Why are the Russians so hospitable?
Do you know that there is a scientific background behind the different levels of hospitality among different nations? An anthropologist Edward T. Hall’s theory is well known to people dealing somehow with intercultural relations. Put simply, he highlighted several vital factors – time, space and context - to which every ethnic nation has a certain attitude and consequently divided the countries into groups. On the one hand that approach seems to be of high interest only to a narrow circle of people. But let us give you example and you see how close it stands to reality.
Learn Russian in Petrozavodsk and feel at homeNote: we focus here mainly on one part of Hall’s theory – high- and law- context cultures, leaving aside two other dimensions. There are many ways to explain what “context” is. Basically you can view it as an attitude towards the rules and information. For instance, law-context culture implies having fragile and rare bonds between people with personal relations not interfering into business ones. Representatives of these cultures always put it clear and describe every tiny detail not to confuse someone. Often the task for them is more important than relationship. The demand for extra information is pretty high and the main message is kept in the words, not in the communication context. According to Hall, the USA, Germany, Switzerland and North European countries are in law-context-cultures group.
And the opposite group contains high-context countries. Here we have strong people bonds as well as high commitment to long-term relationships. Many words are unsaid and many rules are unwritten but the people are still aware of them keeping all this extra information in mind. Hints and metaphors, use of non-verbal communication and process-before-product attitude – that’s how we know the culture is from high-context group. Japan, France, Spain, Italy and the Middle East countries are here as well as Russia.
Keeping that information in mind helps to explain the willingness of Enjoy Russian School to do its best. We do focus on relationships with students and never let them deal with problems by themselves, even if it’s not our working time. We cooperate with the host families that are ready to offer comfortable stay for our students. We don’t wait the moment you ask us for help. We can read between the lines! And not because we are so cool and want to show off. It’s high-context culture! Choose our course and experience Russian hospitality!
Let us know what you think about the Hall’s theory. Do you personally have these high or law context features?