It is frequently believed that when a person would visit Rome, they should also mimic the way Romans do. I partially agree that tourist people should learn the culture of the foreign land they will visit due to the fact that they would only stay there for a short period of time, also it is impossible to learn a language without learning the culture because it is fundamental part of itself.
To begin with, cultural adaptation takes time. If a person will be visiting a particular place, one cannot easily learn their culture. It is a vast characteristic of the society that is learnt through experience and interaction to the locals. The acceptance of culture is not that difficult as it may seem to be the natural behavior and as a sign of respect. For example, while visiting India with rich religious traditions will be supported by the tourist in their quest for prayers and temple rituals.
Moreover, it not feasible to know one's culture when not firstly learning their language. This is due to the fact that the vital element of culture is language and everything else follows such as beliefs and philosophy. A person cannot be able to understand another country's way of life if he cannot interact with the natives and will be left alien to a foreign territory. To illustrate this, in a recent study conducted by Oxford University that 32% of foreign visitors tend to get lost and went home earlier than expected because of language barrier.
In conclusion, a traveler should make it a point to open their minds in embracing other country's heritage and tradition. Although they cannot quickly adapt it overnight, they should still study their language to have at least a glimpse of their entire culture and therefore can happily enjoy the land.
In my previous post, I mentioned an articleby BBC Magazine that contains some interesting information about PowerPoint. Here are two figures from that article worth pondering:
- It is estimated that businesses make around 30 million PowerPoint presentations every day.
- Including time for starting up and shutting down, the average PowerPoint session lasts 250 minutes.
Those figures, if accurate, are incredible. Let’s break them down a bit more.
In order not to be sensationalist, let’s assume that the above figures wildly overestimate the reality. Let’s assume that instead of 30 million PowerPoint presentations a day, there are only 1 million per day (i.e., 3.3% of the given figure). And let’s assume that the average PowerPoint presentation lasts exactly 60 minutes and not 250 minutes (i.e., one quarter of the given figure).
Let’s now add one final factor and assume that the average PowerPoint presentation involves 15 people (audience, presenter and technicians all included). Fair? OK. Let’s see how the math works out.
1,000,000 presentations x 1 hour x 15 people
= 15,000,000 hours of people’s time each day
So far, so good. But 15 million is a big number to get our heads around. Let break it down further.
15,000,000 hours = 625,000 days = 1,712 years
1,712 years!? The Roman Empire didn’t last that long!
"Caesar, we've got it all worked out. First, we'll bore the Carthaginians to death with bullet point after bullet point. Then we'll conquer them. From Carthage we'll head east to Cappadocia and numb them with charts."
That figure – 1,712 years of people’s time devoted to a PowerPoint presentation every day – is well and truly breath-taking. And don’t forget, that’s my conservative number!
Now, many of those presentations are interesting and worthwhile. But you and I both know that a significant number of them are a waste of time. That is a shame.
Rome wasn’t built in a day; likewise, your PowerPoint presentation shouldn’t be cobbled together in haste. Put some effort into it. Make it stimulating and useful for your audience. If you don’t, and if you present often, your reputation as a public speaker will, like the Roman Empire, suffer its own Decline and Fall – and it won’t take nearly as long.
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