Perception process is the concept, used in cross-cultural communication field, that explains why the representatives of one culture misunderstand representatives of another culture. According to the summary writing service the context of the situation for analysis, there is a misunderstanding of Indian culture by the representative of European one. Indian culture is the oldest one in the word, with 4,500 years of existence. The situation for the analysis is as follows. A European man, who is in India for the first time, has bought a hamburger and holds it in his left hand while his phone is in his right hand. The usage of one’s left hand is one of such peculiarities, the unawareness of which might lead a person into trouble or a situation where they can be understood incorrectly. The paper will aim to discuss and analyze one of the peculiarities of Indian culture, namely the usage of the left hand in public places and while contacting others, such as shaking hands, passing objects to others, and so on, while also analyzing the perception process of the Indian people.
The European man might not know all peculiarities of Indian culture and for him, it is quite natural to eat using either of his hands. However, Indian culture is quite peculiar in some aspects. Particularly, some Indian customs and traditions are to be known before visiting the country because some actions might look insulting and even disrespectful to the locals. Thus, a person passing some object to another person with their left hand is considered to be demonstrating bad manners. Likewise, eating with one’s left hand also means behaving in an improper way.
People eat differently in both cultures. Thus, Europeans consume their meals with a spoon or a fork, while Indians like to do it using their hands as they think “it feeds your mind, not just your stomach”. Indians believe that their left hand should be used for such matters as cleaning after going to the toilet, washing feet, or executing other unpleasant functions. Therefore, everyone is expected to use their right hand while shaking hands, passing objects to others, or eating. Left hand is only used for so-called unclean matters. Thus, everyone should make sure their left hand does not come in contact with food or any other things that have to be passed to other people. Since the perceptual scheme of Indian people is different from that of other ethnicities, their perception process of others also differs.
In general, using one’s left hand is a normal type of behavior in European and American countries. However, in India and many Asian countries, passing objects to others and eating with one’s left hand is a sign of impoliteness . An Indian might make a remark regarding such a behavior, simply laugh, or not say a word. Furthermore, Hayes believes that “the taboo of using left hand” is very strong among the Muslims who mostly live in the south of the country. Therefore, the European man from this example has demonstrated bad manners by eating a hamburger while holding it in his left hand.
To conclude, knowledge of the peculiarities of other cultures and traditions helps avoid misunderstandings and be polite to the representatives of other countries. Because the perception process is heavily influenced by culture, the European normal behavior can be perceived as strange and even unacceptable by Indians. However, the main point is that if a person wants to be perceived positively and adequately, they must comply with the rules and norms of a country of their visit. Without the sufficient knowledge or awareness of foreign culture and traditions, it is almost impossible to interpret behavior and actions of a person correctly. Therefore, the European man should have used his right hand while eating his hamburger.