Knowing cultural customs has helped me to avoid misunderstanding and get to know and understand people of different cultures better and which has taught me to live amicably. Nobody can stereotype people. It would be wrong to think that for instance that Arabs do this and Germans do that. In my opinion, there is a difference between stereotyping and generalizations because they may appear to be the same, but they perform in a very different manner. Stereotyping is usually a conclusive point without any efforts being made to ascertain whether it is suitable to apply to the person we are currently interacting with. A generalization serves as a point to start with.
Generalization points out to common prevailing styles within a certain group but recognizing the fact that this generalization may not be applicable to all members of the group. Individuals are inherently different which is due to many factors. The most aspects of generalization are applied to immigrants according to the time they have spent in the States and their extent of adaptation to their new environs. I have found out that the most common form of misunderstanding occurs when people from Asia use home remedies to cure a sick person. They tend to rub a heated coin on the back of the person to draw out the illness. The application of a hot coin usually leaves welts, which when viewed by Americans is viewed as some sort of physical abuse.
Doctors have even had people arrested for what they assumed was mistreatment of a person when all that was being done was that the people were using traditional home remedies. I have seen that people from different cultures and languages may greet each other in different ways. Instead of just making do with a straightforward ‘hello’ they might use very different words or phrases according to their relationship with the person that they are greeting. When anyone speaks of the uses or significance of any word, we associate it with the idea that it depicts or explains and that is just one aspect of the usefulness of any language.
Some other word or phrase can easily be used for the word ‘hello’ such as “what’s up, which expression explains Saussure’s assertion flawlessly. The phrase “what’s up” definitely has the capability to hold up as an opinion in its own right. This is a phrase that needs to know what is going on with the person that you are addressing and what is happening in that person’s immediate environment or what is generally going on with his/her life. This could be two ideas expressed in one phrase which is used as a salutation. Greeting someone orally and out loud is just the initial part of what comes after the greeting.