FINAL ASSIGNMENT OF CROSS-CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING
COMPARE AND CONTRAST NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION OF
LOMBOK AND KOREAN CULTURE
THE FACULTY OF TEACHER TRAINING AND EDUCATION
As a social beings, of course, we cannot live without others, we will always need the help of others in many ways, because there was never one single person who can live alone in this world. That is why communication is so important for us, because in a way we could convey the intent to communicate with each other. As we know, in our daily lives, there are two types of communication that we normally use, namely verbal and non-verbal communication. Verbal communication is communication that is generally used by everyone in all over the world, that is the use of language as a communication means. Or we could say that verbal communication is communication that uses words symbolized by language. While nonverbal communication is communication without language.
Nonverbal communication is a kind of signaling to others who already understand the meaning of the cues that we give them. Non-verbal communication can be more difficult than verbal communication. Why, because if one is not careful in the use of non-verbal communication, it can cause a problem for him. Background and cultural differences are the cause of this, the use of non-verbal communication that does not appropriate can cause misunderstanding in the communication process. That’s why understanding non-verbal communication is crucial to success when communicating across cultures. Non-verbal communication is communication that conveys meaning without words. Researchers have estimate that 85 percent of all communication is non-verbal, with the importance of this type of communication varying widely across cultures.
In this paper, I will compare and contrast the meaning of non-verbal communication that exists in Lombok culture with nonverbal communication that exists in Korean culture. Because both cultures are the same in having their own distinctive way in communicating non-verbally, sometimes we can find similarities and also the differences between them. And by knowing it, it can help us in communicating with the Koreans. If we know and understand about non-verbal communication that they use, even though we do not understand their language, we still can catch a bit of the meaning of non-verbal communication that they do, so it can facilitate the communication process.
There are various types of non-verbal communication that exist in this world, of which the most common is non-verbal communication through eye contact, facial expressions, hand gestures, the use of physical space, and Rhythm Of Language. Of course there are many other types of non-verbal communication, but not every type of it can be generally accepted by all cultures. For example, although a particular non-verbal communication is common and acceptable in Korea, but we cannot be assured that it will be accepted by Lombok culture or by any other cultures as well, and vice versa. Here we will discuss one by one comparison and the difference between a non-verbal communication in Korea and in Lombok.
1. Eye Contact
In Lombok culture, eye contact with our interlocutors is not prohibited. In fact, it is not really considered in communication in Lombok culture. The people of the same age will probably often do this kind of non-verbal communication, as it is considered as a sign that we respect our interlocutors. The eye contact indicating that we give our full attention to what is being said by our interlocutors. However, what often happens is, young people would prefer to avoid eye contact with the older, even though it is not considered to violate decorum in Lombok culture. While in Korea, direct eye contact is seen as a lack of politeness. Eye contact with older people or between junior and senior among businesspeople should be avoided. This is seen as impolite or even can be considered as a challenge.
2. Facial Expression
In addition to its natural beauty, Lombok is also very famous for its hospitality and courtesy inhabitants. It was none other than because of courtesy and friendliness is part of their culture. But even so, in some respects, people in Lombok are quite different from with people in general. People in Lombok are not used to saying “thank you” in response to the present or help of others on them. But that does not mean they are not grateful, they are thanking in other ways, that is through non-verbal communication such as facial expressions. They showed their gratitude by showing countenance beaming, and smiling with sometimes bowing their bodies in order to show their gratitude. While in Korea, too much smiling is related to shallowness. Another expression that is often used both in Korean and in Indonesia was nod. In Indonesia nodded interpreted as consent forms, whereas in Korea nodded your head once is a form of greeting.
3. Hand Gestures
Hand gestures is one of non-verbal communication is often used by everyone, including the people of Indonesia and Korea. Both also have similarities as well as differences in this kinds of non-verbal communication. There are some kinds of hand gesture such as :
a. Thumb up and thumb down
People of Indonesia and Korea are both doing thumb up and down as a form of non-verbal communication, but both turned out to have very different meanings. In Indonesia, in any area, thumb down has a negative meaning. The motion indicates that we are bad judge or underestimate something, but it’s the contrary in Korea, directs the thumbs down means that we are the best, and show that we are the number one, it also mean that we are the boss. It is contrary to the meaning of this non-verbal communication in Indonesia, so if we do not know about this, maybe we would misinterpret non-verbal communication that they do.
In Lombok, when we want to point to something, we have to do it using our thumb, with the rest of the other fingers clenched like grasping movement. It is considered the most courteous manner and in accordance with the manners of the people of Lombok. While Korean use their point finger. In Lombok, when people point their self, they put their open hand in their chest, while Korean do it with pointing to his chest with their thumb.
c. Wave Hand
In Lombok culture waved his hand with the palm facing outward with the vertical movement means ‘goodbye’, while in Korea it means inviting people to come closer. To wave goodbye, Koreans wave their raised forearm side to side and palm facing out.
As a form of greeting, Indonesian people generally use handshakes and kisses on the cheek, while in Korea bow and a handshake. In a handshake, there are also differences between Indonesia and Korea. In general, the younger person in Indonesian invites handshake, while younger person in Korean awaiting an invitation from the old handshake.
When passing someone who is more mature and respected, people in Lombok will be using the right hand and slightly bending over. While there is nothing like that in Korea.
f. Small Gesture
- To say they did not have money, the Koreans will bring together their thumb and their index finger and then move it. As for the people of Indonesia, it is considered to be a statement that people who do so are trivialize something, or think it’s something easy. For Indonesian people, to tell that he had no money, simply by combining his thumb with his index finger and then move it repeatedly.
- In Korea, forming a circle with thumb and index finger means ‘money’, while in Indonesia, it means ‘done’.
- In Indonesia, putting the index finger sloping against the forehead declared ‘insane’, whereas in Korea it is expressed by making a circle many times with the index finger on forehead.
- Korean men count with his fingers folded sequence of the thumb toward the little finger with one hand, while the Indonesian by means of a hand opening thumb toward the little finger sequence with two hands.
g. Negative Gesture
There is a sexual connotation between Indonesia and Korea in the use of fingers and hands. In Indonesia, it’s taboo to point the middle finger. In Korea, putting the thumb between the index and middle fingers on the same hand, or rubbing the palm of an open hand in a fist over the other, meaning sexual intercourse.
4. The use of physical space
Toddlers in all cultures are like puppies in their use of physical space. They stand close enough to touch, roll around, and step on each others feet. As children grow, they are taught how to greet each other and how to maintain an appropriate conversational distance. These spatial customs vary widely across cultures; knowledge about use of space can influence the success of intercultural business communication.
a. Greeting Behavior
People in Lombok, does not have greetings such as “Good Morning”. A Lombok people approaching a friend might ask, in the local language, ” How are you?, How’s your family?” simply as a form of greeting. Locals will frequently ask foreigners like this in English (it may be their only English!) as a greeting. Don’t get annoyed – they are just trying to be polite. A smile and a “hello”, or greeting in Indonesian, is a polite and adequate response. Differ from Korean people, they are not nearly as nice as it is to everyone. They will only greet the people they know by saying “Anyong haseyo”, which mean hello. But sometimes, they don’t even say a word, and just nodding their head slightly for greeting, with no smile at all, even though they are know each other.
b. Office Space
In Lombok, the workspace will usually be separated with the chief room, same thing applies in Korea. In Korea, the employees will occupy the room which also housed several other employees, who are separated by impermanent barriers for each table. Three or four tables will be put opposite each other, with a divider boards, and so on. While in Lombok, where the table would normally be set lined up lengthwise along the room without any barrier.
5. Rhythm Of Language
Rhythm of language also vary depending on what the culture teaches. That is, the appropriate pause between a question and answer or a statement and response can differ widely. In some culture, verbal communication overlaps. In other cultures, there may be one second or several second between question and answer or statement response. The silence – or lack of it – is a powerful part of non-verbal communication.
Lombok people will usually speak gently. Lombok people will tend to belittle themselves in the talks of, and flatter his interlocutor. Meanwhile, the Korean way of speaking depending on whom they are talking. Their speech will sound harsh when talking to younger people, but it will be soft when talking to older people. Familiarity level also affects the rhythm of Korean people speaking. When they talking to people who do not get too close they will use the polite formal language, as well as adding a call that shows a sign of respect at the end of the name of their interlocutors, such as “sshi” or “nim”, “sshi” more common than “nim”, while “nim” is used for people who are respected, such as teachers or senior.
Humans communicate in various ways, which emphasize or deny what he said through words or even without words, or what we call by verbal and nonverbal communication. Differences in culture and background makes a difference in the number of non-verbal communication between Korea and Lombok. Differences in culture and background makes a difference in the number of non-verbal communication between Korea and Lombok. That is why knowing non-verbal communication is really important for each people, because by understanding about it, our communication will be run well and getting success regardless of their culture. We can respect each other without different interpretation or miss conception about it. As the result, we are comfortable in doing communication though we are from the other culture or country.
Kim.Geung.Seob.komunikasi antara budaya korea dan indonesia
Reynolds-Valentine. Sara-Deborah.2004.Guide to Cross Cultural Communication. :New Jersey