Though there are of course exceptions to every rule, each country has its own style and customs, norms and tendencies. At times these may be challenging for the newcomer to adapt to.
When a Latin American friend of mine first came from his home country to live with his Finnish wife, also a friend of mine, he had a little bit of difficulty adapting to the local norms. They were visiting some Finnish friends, and as was the common form of greeting where he came from, he would kiss the ladies on the cheeks upon meeting them. The result of this were some very red faces, with varying expressions ranging from surprise to shock. After a few of these instances, his wife told him exasperatedly, "Will you stop kissing the women!! They are not used to this kind of greeting!" They still have a good laugh remembering this situation.
Myself, coming from North America and with a South American background, had at times some difficulty adjusting to the differences in communication here in Finland. I was used to a more open, communicative atmosphere, where we can make "small talk" with others, exchange a few words, share a joke, on the bus, in the shop, etc. Though some may say that this sort of communication is artificial, it is my experience that there is a genuine friendliness and a desire to connect with others at the core of this habit, and the result of which creates a more collective feeling in the community.
On the other side, I have to say that my contact with Finnish people, and perhaps especially my Finnish husband and friends, have taught me to have more control and gravity of words, as well as more of an honesty with myself and others.
There is real value in the mixing of cultures, and something to learn from each one. But the heart and mind must be open to it.
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