mw 08 local customs

Understanding local customs

From Carol H. video:  In Hong Kong the people worship idols and ancestors. In other religions there can also be a focus on others, such as Buddhism, there is a focus on family and community life.

From Karen B. home video: It may be helpful to read and take along informative books. Be aware of medical needs, there isn’t always aid nearby, may be hours away. Making food will be different, it will have to be prepared differently and everything a person may be used to may not be available in another country.

From Todd Roeske Video, about new church plant in the Philippines: Need to understand the people’s customs and culture where you are -in order to teach the gospel in a way the people will understand.

From interview with WF and FF:
They didn’t understand some of the customs of the culture they were in, which was under marshal law.  Those in charge could go into a home at anytime, day or night.  The missionaries never got completely used to it all.  But they thought that can’t be complete anywhere, but have a little bit of home everywhere.

Some customs that they found to be different was standing in lines for the bus or railway.  The Chinese people would go ahead in line if they needed to, not waiting their turn.  And that, which would normally cause an outburst in America, would be the norm there, and those people who cut in would be left un-confronted.  It wasn’t typical to confront others.  The missionaries found some of these hard to keep, because part of them still went by American rules even after living in another culture for awhile.

When understanding other cultures, it is important to understand what characteristics they attribute to God.  In Taiwan, the people didn’t associate gods with love, they saw gods as something to be feared and worshipped.

From the book Stepping Out:  Show respect for older people, there may be specific customs to that culture. Dress moderately.  Be aware of being alone with someone of the opposite sex, there are different perceptions and norms. Ask about people’s families, other cultures are more group orientated.

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