The following are some of the noticeablecultural differences that Todd encountered upon arriving in India:Trafficinclusive of motorcycles, three wheeled vehicles, people, cows, market, and kidsall in the streets. He has to run tojump on the train and a child offers him his seat and then immediately sitsback in Todd’s lap which surprises Todd as it is invading his personal Americanspace.
In addition a man was urinatingon the streets in broad daylight. Immediately after getting off the plane he is looking for his ride butthe spelling of his name is Mr. Toad not Todd so he walks right past the personhe was looking for – another example of cultural differences in language. Toad as he was called repeatedly through thefilm and even though his employees spoke English their accents were differentand most importantly their definition or pronunciation of words createdconfusion. His employees in India wouldask him questions and he would have to explain what they meant as an Americanand often he put his foot in his mouth. His first encounter with the individual he was to be training was to saythat he “sells kitches to rednecks” and that now he has to “train some othershmuck to do it” was a perfect example of the language barrier because as heexplained what he meant he saw that it was insulting and tried to tone it downand in return the employee used his words in the wrong circumstances.
Also when he was training the fulfillmentcenter employees he was telling they to use “small talk” when talking tocustomers and again they did not have a clue. The most blatant cultural difference is eating his first meal with hisleft hand which is considered the unclean toilet hand. This is due to the lack of toilet paper inIndia thus the unclean left hand. These cultural differences caused Todd to havemissteps at work and at home. In Indiait is very family oriented and Todd was asked if he was married and he said hewas not and they were like you are old enough to be a grandfather. Then, they asked if he lived with his parentsand he indicated he had not seen them in a while.
This was all contrary to India’s familyoriented values. He goes to thefulfillment center and it’s under construction and there is a cow inside thebuilding. In India cows are sacred andmost in the country do not eat beef.
This is another example of Todd’s ignorance of India as he was talkingabout one of the products they sell that brands your name or initials into yourfood and the employees were stunned as cows are sacred in India. Kids would come up to him in the streetsbegging for money or food and then hug him and steal his phone – this happenedseveral times with the same child. Alsohe was interested in one of his female employees but she had an arrangedmarriage which was unbelievable to Todd. Also there was no touching in public with this female employee –conversations would end with a business handshake.
It was ironic that the tacky souvenir itemsthat they were selling were actually of interest to the employees and it wasused by Todd as an incentive program to improve their sales as a prize. Another example of the differences in thelanguage as a customer asked for products for his kids to take to school andthey suggested rubbers which the customer was appalled at but they thought oferasers as rubber. Globalization is going to affect my careerpath immensely.
The world is changingevery day and in every country. In thismovie at the end the fulfillment center was moving to “China which was the newIndia”. In a short period of time thesocial and economic climate and environment can change. We must be prepared as the global economy ischanging and expanding daily. As anindividual we must increase and improve our skills set as technology and computersare taking over routine jobs.
Inaddition knowing a foreign language and familiarity with other countriescultures would be very helpful. Theworld is facing challenges on every level so to be successful cooperationbetween countries is crucial. The futureis unpredictable but a good education is the best means to have along with otherlanguage skills, accepting of different cultures and a knowledge of foreignpolicies/politics. Our education system needs to focus on these areas so that upongraduation our career path is more focused on the world. To remain competitive globally we must have aglobal education and studying abroad would be valuable.
We need to change or enhance our currentskill sets to participate with the world and to learn about othercountries. Also we need to have faiththat resolutions to worldwide issues are possible coupled with an optimism toface global biases and be accountable to help support a fair, nonviolent and viableearth.