Change/Culture Paper –   All should use the text and at least two additional sources.

Option A: Change something about yourself in terms of adornment (clothing, jewelry, style, hair, etc.). Make sure that it is a big enough change that those around you will notice and that you have enough places to travel to get good reactions. Observe the reactions of those around you. You may need to have someone help you with observations. Do not do anything illegal, or that will get you fired. However, do have fun.

  1. What reactions did you expect?
  2. What reactions did you observe?
  3. What reaction did your helper observe?
  4. Did the reactions depend on the relationship you had with those around you?
  5. What does your clothing say about you? How do clothing and other adornments “make a person”?

      Option B: Contact your friends and family (at least four people).

  1. Ask them about your nonverbal habits and trends.
  2. How do they view your nonverbal characteristics (think clothing, but also think about haptics, kinesics, etc.).
  3. Are they consistent? Why or why not?
  4. Did the type of relationship matter in their description of your nonverbals?
  5. Do you have any nonverbal characteristics that you didn’t know you had? What were they?

Option C: Cultural Similarities and Differences

            Make contact with someone with a different culture than yourself. You can find someone from another country, or that differs in some large cultural way (you are from California, they are from Georgia). For this option, I would like for you to meet with this individual at least three times. You need to discuss nonverbal communication (think greetings, counting, adornments, colors, touch, time). When you attend events, take note of nonverbal similarities and differences. Write about the experience


Cultural Similarities and Differences


I am an Arabian, and my cultural is typically Arabian culture.  I have found a friend of the friend who is from Japan, and I believe a perfect sample for this experiment. He lives next to our apartment building, so it was not difficult to approach him. I met him four times as instructed to do this assignment. First times, when I met him was a very formal meeting, next time it was comparatively non-formal and third times it was fairly non-formal, and now we met very casually.

Communication means other than languages such as gestures, signs, gestures, and attitudes are used in conjunction with the language, or independently (as an alternative to language). There are visual elements such as facial expressions, gestures, actions, complexions, and gaze. It also includes auditory elements that do not use words, such as silence, screams, and groaning. Nonverbal communication may be used consciously, or sometimes unconsciously. When I asked him to tell about Japan, customs, people, communication and especially nonverbal communication. He told me like this; the Japanese people are highly punctual and hard working.  When we meet, Japan often holds people at longer distances and do not want them to be close.

1.    Distance

In our country to meet relatives, we often express feelings with hugs, grab the neck, shoulders or kiss on the cheeks. By contrast, parents of Japanese people, even if they are not adopting their eldest son. These gestures express that the feelings of the West were utter foreigners in Japan. Japanese who do not like gestures that they hate also collide with people of the same sex as actions.


2. Eyes

As long as there is no circumstance, reluctant Japanese people do not see each other. Traditionally Japan is a unique collective right to see in the eyes of others, the oldest man, or the one with the highest status can maintain eye contact with others. The sudden appearance of others’ eyes is considered rude. These students graduated taught that mentors cannot examine too much interview about the person when they apply for work.

3. Heavy silence

Japan is very silent, such a gentle joy and satisfaction may positively reflect the kind of negative emotions such as sadness and anger. “The understanding of silence, however, is dependent upon culture. For instance, the Japanese view silence as a sign of respect” (Gudykunst & Nishida, 1984; Morsbach, 1973; Sano et al., 1999). “Japanese use nonverbal cues in their communication instead of words and they love silence” (Burgoon, Guerrero & Floyd, 2016). Japanese people are emphasizing the hesitancy attitude in Japan communication, Arab feel uncomfortable, but they have the necessity of each person’s thoughts.

4. Gesture style

They can understand each other verbally, but Japanese people use gestures when using gestures they seem seriously and more politely. The surprise that it is particularly important to recognize three of the Japanese gestures during business negotiations.

First of all (only men do), you scrape his hand on his forehead being rubbed his head Second and third sniff through his teeth. Sometimes Japanese will turn these gestures within seconds. It is better not to respond at all. Just wait for it through all gestures and wait for the Japanese to tell. This time can be from 10 seconds to 30 seconds or more. Japanese never feel uncomfortable while silent. Want to create a tie, they can freely observe strange acting.

5.    Symbolism of color

Japan has an amazing, unique and incredibly developed language of color, which has long been a subject of surprise and admiration from experts in the field of art and design. Values and associations, as well as modern applications, are based on color, as a historical sign system. “To understand the history of the emergence of a kind of symbolism of the color of Japan, it is necessary to turn to Shinto (the system of Japanese beliefs and worldview). According to the Shinto, the gods who created the world – Izanami and Izanagi (the first man and the first woman, Ying and Y – are comparable to the Chinese Yin and Yang) descended to Earth and created the Japanese islands” ( Hecht & Hoobler, 2002).

6.    Clothing in Japan

Kimono is the basic clothing of both men and women. The kimono is perfect for the Japanese type of figure. It visually adjusts the proportions of Japanese, which are not very large by nature. Kimono is, in a way, the focus of national psychology. Japanese woman in a kimono embodies the standard of restrained grace, soft femininity, and modesty.

Traditional men’s kimonos are strict, dark colors, are lost against the background of unusually rich decorative effects of female samples. The individual features and beauty of the kimono are revealed only when the person wears it. The same kimono on different people will look different.



7.    Eating etiquettes and nonverbal cues

One more exciting nonverbal sign showed by the Japanese takes place at meal times.  Every Japanese family has a Buddha as a symbol of their descendants, who have passed away. They put food in front of Buddha so they can offer it to their ancestors.  In the center of the food, chopsticks are place vertical to the table.  This nonverbal cue is kept only as tradition.

 Difference and similarities in Arab and Japanese culture

In cross-cultural communication, it is necessary to understand the values, behavioral patterns and cultural differences behind the other’s words, especially in business and communication involving interests. To try to convey the message people that are “the same as it will us to the interpretation that he is also the person who receives it” said lightly but is expected to tend to, such expectations it is uncommon to be betrayed by splendid of things. “The distinction of nonverbal activity in Japan stalks, possibly, from further cultural sources. Japan, more than any other Asian society, has been inclined by the instruction of Zen Buddhism, which places excessive value on silence and on the communication of ideas and sense by nonverbal means”(Morsbach, 1982)

One is a high-context culture, which is a type of communication that tends to depend on something other than language messages, such as human relationships and social customs. The other is low-context culture. This is a type of communication where language tends to be dense, and there is a strong tendency not to depend on something other than language. It is said that “cultures of words” which cannot be understood unless words are worded. Both Japan and Arab belong to high context cultures.

The Japan is a high context culture.  When Japanese say their words are paid, they give attention to them as they believe they are important.  Japanese practice many nonverbal signs to communicate with each other. For Japanese nonverbal cues are important but may be unnoticeable or un important for others but for them they mean a lot.

There is no concept of eye contact when talking to elders in Arabian culture and Japanese culture, elders command esteem, and their knowledge of the personal or community is extremely appreciated. There is no concept of direct eye contact when speaking to someone who is elders. “When greeting each other, Japanese individuals will repeatedly bow when saying hello “Konichiwa.” The bending is a sign of respect and is shared among strangers” ( Morsbach, 1982).

I have found this assignment very interesting because it allowed me to learn many new things about Japanese culture that I didn’t know before and perhaps I have found a new friend. Concludingly, I can say that in a high context culture, like Japan, words are de-emphasized, and nonverbal cues turn out to be vital in understanding and allow to communicate in other culture as well.


Burgoon, J. P., Guerrero, K., & Floyd, K. (2016). Nonverbal communication. Routledge.

Hecht, M. l., & Hoobler, G. D. (2002). Nonverbal communication across cultures. Handbook of international and intercultural communication, 89.

Morsbach, H. (1982). Aspects of nonverbal communication in Japan. Intercultural communication: A reader, 300-16.