If you have traveled to another country before, you may have experienced being a foreigner in an unfamiliar place. Or perhaps you’ve been to camp or a conference with peers from other parts of the U.S. These experiences can teach us about others and ourselves. These experiences may reveal to us that things we find commonplace are unusual to others. We may walk away feeling a new sense of connection both to the new place and to the place we’re from.
In the following video, we’ll learn how people from different cultures typically greet each other. Pay attention to the differences and similarities between cultural greetings.
Play the following video for your students [3:47]:
People from 12 Countries Show Us Their Greetings!
The different greetings we just saw are examples of cultural differences—not only in language, but also in hand gestures and communication styles. Greetings are just one way in which cultures differ from one another.
- What barriers do you expect people from different cultures will find when connecting with one another? (Accept all reasonable answers. Language and cultural customs will differ, though students may point out that these are barriers you can overcome.)
- What do you expect people from different cultures might bond over? (Accept all reasonable answers. The video showed that non-verbal language and many values were shared among students from across the globe. Likely there is even more they have in common and shared experiences will bring them closer together.)
- Tell about a time you felt particularly unified with others. (Accept all reasonable answers and prompt students to elaborate on their experiences. Who were they unified with and did that surprise them? What were they unified about and how did they express it? Perhaps students have experienced teamwork, group projects, organizing around an issue, passion for a particular mission trip or service project, or deep connection with new friends at a camp or conference.)
Christianity has been around for more than 2,000 years and began in Jerusalem before spreading throughout the world. The beauty of this is all the diversity within Christianity. The challenge sometimes is operating as one body. Jesus desires that we would be unified in Him. In fact, as Jesus faced His death, He prayed not only for Himself, but also for us—that all believers would be one with Him and each other, as we share His good news with the world.