Cultural Differences

This paper outlines the differences in the cultures of the United States versus Asian Indian and Vietnamese cultures. I will look at these countries and make not only a comparison based on cultures, but also comparisons from a business perspective. Although there are many differences in general societies, some issues such as women in the workplace, and images in the media, stand across many borders.
Using the United States as my comparison culture I will first discuss the customs, beliefs, and values of Americans as a society. Americans value making something of their lives in terms of family, and work from an early age. As children we are told that we can do and be anything we want.

We believe that everyone has equal opportunity to go to school, find a good job, marry and live happily every after. These ideas are actually far fetched compared with reality, but still some of the beliefs we hold true.
Americans value achievement, personal success, and independence. We feel it is important to “climb the ladder” of success in the workforce and focus on constant improvement.

Indian Culture

The following are a few of the values, and beliefs of those of Asian Indian decent. There is a heavy emphasis on family, religion and social issues. Under one roof it is not uncommon for a husband, wife and also the mother and father of the husband or wife to all be living together.

When a woman is married it is custom for the man’s family to take the woman into their home. Even after having children, or becoming able to support their family on their own, the couple will continue living as an extended family. Elders are seen as having wisdom, and dignity, very unlike the American culture where elderly are shunned and thought to be worthless.
Religion is an important part of many people in India. Indian people integrate religion to every aspect of their lives- from daily chores, to education and politics. Hinduism is the dominant faith; however Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism are also practiced in India. Each religion has its own dance, music, heroes, legends, pilgrimage sites, and even culinary specialties, which are all celebrated by various festivals though out communities in India.
Some of the social issues that concern Indians are the promotion of democracy, freedom from discrimination, independence of thought, and rights of women and children. The government and voluntary agencies have joined in order for the society to find ways to solve these issues and strive for equal opportunities for people from all income levels, and gender.

Vietnamese Culture
In Vietnam the some of the values, beliefs and customs deal with nature, scholastic achievement and family. Many businesses in Vietnam strive to make products that are environmentally safe and also produce goods with equipment that have “green” (eco/ozone friendly) trademarks. People will have more respect of those companies who place value in how their products are made and what goes into them.
Scholastic achievement is important to many Vietnamese and many are very strong and determined in achieving their goals. Their scholastic goals may be to finish a secondary education, or to attend a university and start their own business. Although not as focused solely on achievement as Euro-Americans, Vietnamese do have high hopes in scholastic and business arenas.
Family is also a strong value in Vietnamese culture. Large families are traditional and the elderly/grandparents are taken care of buy their children, or grandchildren until they die. Children are to live at home until they are married, at that point the woman will move in with the man’s family. Polygamy was legal in Vietnam until 1959; at that point only the first wife a man took was then considered his wife, all others were dissolved.
As in India, family also plays a large role in Vietnamese culture. In America it is often questioned why someone would chose to live close to his or her parents rather than break away from their family. Extended family simply is not a valued by Americans. Starting ones own family may be a big importance, however remaining close to parents, aunts, grandparents, is not as valued.

Business Perspective
Mary Kay-Dallas, Texas- beauty products
Company’s mission- Mary Kay’s mission is to enrich women’s lives. We will do