Introduction I -National identity of Australia and Republic of Iraq II - Image of people from Australia and Republic of Iraq - Stereotypes - Stereotypes about the Iraqis - How do foreigners perceive the Australians? III - Expectation of people from Australia and Republic of Iraq - How do Iraqis perceive the Americans, as a whole? - What is the image that the Australians have from the United States? Conclusion
Introduction Have you ever thought about the differences between the culture of Australia and Republic of Iraq and how they influence their relationship with different nations and cultures? Nowadays, more than ever, people live in a globalized world, with cultures from all over the world being forced to interact with each other, either it is in an environment of work or in friendships or love relationships. This being stated, the only way to achieve success in these social interactions between people with such different cultures and backgrounds is trough cultural awareness and, by sequence, the only way to attain cultural awareness is through education. Thus, this project intends to study two very different countries, Australia and Iraq, in order to reproduce, in a smaller scale (since the study is only about two countries) what people, and specially children and adolescents, should learn about different cultures in order for them to be able to interact and communicate without the presence of big communication barriers as it is the case of stereotypes. Precisely, the fact that the two countries are very distinctive from each other, makes of them the perfect choice to be studied and compared. The differences between the countries start in their location, with Iraq being located in Western Asia, while Australia is by far the biggest country of Oceania. Other than the location, one of the biggest differences between the two nations is religion. While in Iraq more than 95% of the population's religion is Islam, in Australia the main religion is Christian Catholicism (less than 23% of population) but many other religions exist on this territory, proving that Australians are very open-minded and tolerant towards different religions. This and many other differences that will be further ahead discussed in this project, were the reasoning behind the choice of Australia and Iraq. I -National identity of Australia and Republic of Iraq The Oxford Dictionary defines national identity as "A sense of a nation as a cohesive whole, as represented by distinctive traditions, culture, and language.". This being said, this project's segment intends to understand how do two such different countries like Australia and Iraq, with very distinctive traditions and different language and culture, perceive themselves and their national identity as a whole. In order to analyse and compare the national identity of these two countries, Professor Geert Hofstede's six dimensions of national culture will be used because, as a theoretical national culture model, it is the perfect support ground for this project. The six dimensions of the model are "Power distance", "Individualism versus Collectivism", "Uncertainty avoidance", "Long-term orientation versus Short-term normative orientation", "Masculinity versus Femininity" and, last but not least, "Indulgence versus Restraint". Only by looking at the points that each of the two countries scored, from 0 to 100, it is possible to understand that, although they are, at first sight, two very distinctive countries, they still share some common characteristics such as being a masculine society with a short-term orientation. Regarding the first characteristic referred above (Masculinity), Australia scores a total of 61 points out of 100, with Iraq scoring a very close value of 70 points. These similar results show that both societies are driven by the sense of success and achievement and, for them, competitiveness is essential to achieve the best results possible. This medium to high score of both countries can, of course, be explained by cultural reasons. For example, in Australian schools kids are educated to think that "winner takes all". This type of education exemplifies, in a perfect way, the masculinity present on the Australian society. The second similarity between Australia and Iraq is that they are both short-term oriented countries, with Australia and Iraq scoring 21 and 25 points, respectively, meaning that both of these two nations give substantial importance to maintain the old traditions and are not very opened to change. This being said, they are very normative countries, for whom it is very important to establish clear rules that must be "written in stone". To exemplify the huge importance given by Iraqis to tradition, the read can think about "Mashaya & Sharbat". This is a very old tradition in Iraq that says that men from the groom's side are obligated to go to speak with the men from the women's side asking formally the hand of the lady through an offer that can include gold, jewerly, clothes and shoes (Kissandtell.com, 2017). If the offer is accepted, the two families must join together and drink Sharbat, a typical cold tea prepared from fruits and rose petals to consummate the marriage.
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