I have been travelling to Asia for more than 40 years. Not 100 percent sure, but approx 50-60 trips only to Thailand. I look at Thailand as my second home country and I am so proud to say that I know the asian culture and maybe more than average I know the asian way of thinking. This is both positive and negative in my opinion
Thailand – the land of Smiles.
Always a Traveller
In general I have been a traveller almost my entire life and I have no number for all the countries I been visiting. Mostly always connected to my work as a Journalist, Film Director & Photographer.
I love Asia and especially Thailand. I love the people, the nature and specially the climate in the north part Thailand.
The asian culture, the family culture, connections between family members, bonds, in something totally unique..
For many years I have also been involved into business in Thailand.
My youngest son is 50/50 Thai.
Experience to Philippines people mostly I have from Norway and Thailand, trough friends my connections to different Au Pairs.
Totally 10 years of experience having Au Pair’s from the Philippines.
I will continue travel, explore and go to Asia. The latest 10 years I have also been helping many Au Pair`s especially from the Philippines to go to Norway as Au Pairs. Also Inside Norway Au Pairs are contacting me and asking for help if they are into some problems. Some times it can be problems with the Host Family or maybe about understanding the rules and the law regarding being an Au Pair in Norway.
Communication is a difficult and complicated. I will try to explain the different between communication in Asia vs Europe. Important: This is only my opinion!
Asian, both from Thailand and the Philippines has very close connection to their family members. Never a single negative word about own family members.
an Asian is raised and learned from the childhood to be polite, calm and almost always smile, specially when they communicate with strangers or forefingers. It’s difficult to “trust” for sure if a yes is actually a yes.
Even if they are thinking “negative” and “mad” or irritated, they can still smile and answer or give information in a positive way.
I have learned to be a good reader when I talk to or negotiate and doing business in Asian people in Asia. The smile have many layers and can easily fool you around. A foreigner can easily be cheated in Asia. They are a much more humble and difficult to read than people from Europe. Both good and bad.
In a “funny” way I sometimes say that an asian can be nice and smily, but they can also “kill you” with a smile.
If you are able to read all these small details and the body language to an asian, it’s fantastic to do business and easy to make success in Asia. The Thai people have a wide range of terms for different types of smiles. Thirteen to be exact. So start your trainee project about communication as quickly as possible.
The land of Smiles
European or Norwegian Communication
Welcome to Norway
In Norway we are more directly into the point and straight forward in our communication. There are some “shades” and different ways to behave and to communicate also in Norway. In the Oslo area they are more diplomatic in their communication and in the North or the West part of Norway they are more loudly and brutally straight forward. A yes is a YES and a no is a NO!
We are not that humble as the asian people, so for them it can be some times difficult to communicate with Norwegians. I am from the North part of Norway.
I do not suggest that some are more honest than others or that some are presenting more lies than others. I am just trying to say that when I am in Asia I have to learn and to adapt the asian way of behaving and communication. When asian come to Norway they need to learn and adapt the Norwegian way of behaving and communication.
So let’s try to learn from each other, but most important of all, we need to RESPECT each other and the differences we have in our lifestyle, experience and culture. So Smile and give each other a big hug. It’ always a good starter!
Again and finally, all this is just my opinion and I am not trying to judge or to be too absolute. Communication is actually ART!