I refer to relationship as anything that involves at least 2 people interacting, from friendship, business to romantic relationships. I would like you, if possible, to explain in the clearest possible way your experience (if any) and your thoughts on this matter.
Sometimes approaching someone can be a challenging task as various things are involved, such as the language, religion, or a very different culture, for instance Japanese culture vs. Latin American culture. I fathom that this subject can turn out to be about stereotypes your society has created about how certain people behave or react to certain things in different countries. Let’s give an example. In Japan, people do not greet by kissing each other on the cheek as you would do in Europe or in the Americas continent. Then, we have the first ‘obstacle’, something that if you do not know, when you are getting to know the person better, an awkward situation might come up, ultimately resulting in an ‘’unapproaching’’; that, of course, depends also upon the person’s way of reacting. There, we understand that cultures behave in different ways which we may not be acquainted with.
Does this necessarily make the approaching harder? Firstly, we would start saying ‘’ Where are you from’’ wouldn’t we? After we know the person’s origin, we can change our behavior, if we know little or nothing about the person’s culture, we would usually be careful with our words. Then, I deem that it does not make things exactly harder but rather we are more respectful, which is a good thing, because we would likely behave in a very different way if we meet someone from our own country.
There is also this thing called ‘’prejudging’’. Some people prejudge others just because of the stereotype your country has created, which can make feel unwelcomed or unwanted the foreigner. Let’s give some examples about stereotypes. As we know, in every country some racism or xenophobia exists, in a different degree of course. In Spain, for instance, there are some people who think that Latin American people live in caves, forests, jungles or are uncivilized. I find that utterly comical, because I wonder what makes them think that. Of course, in any country there are people who are rude, no doubt. Another stereotype is branding blondes as idiots. Some people let themselves be swayed by it and treat blondes as if they were retarded, or even, some men find them an easy ‘’prey’’ , which is ridiculous. Prejudging makes things harder because you might get yourself a surprise.
What about religion? This is a very controversial topic, so there is no need to go too deep in this pitch-dark cave. Nevertheless, we comprehend clearly that religion could be a reason to have serious problems to get to know a person. Something I find sometimes to be a sad limiting when it comes to know a person’s value since some fervent fall into prejudging.
In my opinion, starting any kind of relationship with a foreigner can be easy or difficult, which it will be, it’s entirely up to you and up to the person to whom you talk as well as your experience, from trust to personality. I do not find particularly hard to start a relationship with a foreigner, because I feel curiosity about that person’s way of seeing the world, their customs and their language. I love biculturalism and multiculturalism, so I feel particularly inclined to be more opened to a foreigner than to a person of my own country. If I were to get married, she must be foreigner :)
I would like to read your opinions.
I completely agree with you here.
There are many different factors which play a role in the development and maintenance of a relationship (with a friend, foreigner, etc.) so the <em>possible</em> future of a relationship is never a given.
I've found that mutual respect is the easiest road to take when meeting new people. Of course I have preconceived notions, schemas, thoughts about a certain race or culture, but regardless of whether or not they are positive or negative, I try to start off on a clean slate. I try my best not to pigeonhole the person before, during, or after meeting them for the first time; after all, things change, opinions change, and people change.
Religion doesn't matter for me, as I don't really believe in it. Though, I'm not excited about islamic religion (it looks crazy for me) and this might be a cause for me to not be friends with someone.
My country is full of white poeple, that's why they might look at other races as on pink elephants, but it's not really a reason to not make friends with someone.
Language.. I felt not comfy and shy the first day or two, then it was complitely fine for me to talk to a foreigner, even though I was mistaking a lot.
My girlfriend is from the US, we had a language problem for a few days, no religion problems at all (I might've start to worry if she believed in it too much XD) , she's white too so I can't say anything about race here, we had hard time getting used to each other cultures, for now it's a huge compromise around them and it's still under construction (: but everything goes fine (:
Definitely easier to approach a foreigner in my opinion!
Je crois que c'est absolument plus facile pour moi de s'approcher les etrangers <img title="Smile" src="http://www.italki.com/Scripts/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-smile.gif" alt="Smile" border="0" />
I feel very wonderful,and I can learn many words in the communication.I feel very pleased to teach eighers Chinese.^_^