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Oct 20

Written by: Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

By Jennifer Kumar, Cross-Cultural Coach

In this video, I answer the self-reflection questions I posed about my own staring behavior in the previous video. It's not fair for me to ask you and not dig inside myself to find my own answers. What are your answers? You do not need to tell me, but please tell yourself. This will help us understand ourselves and our behavior better. Thanks for your interest in my videos and in learning yourself! You are great!

See this video on my Facebook page along with the conversation and feedback there.

I answer the following questions from my personal insight:

Why do I (you) stare at a person?

What is the intention when I (you) stare?

How do I (you) feel when I am stared at?

Do I (you) think those feelings are what the starer is intending to communicate to me? (Or Based on the realizations to the above questoins encourage empahty with others who stare at me?)

I think most of my answers are how most Americans would react or think. Do share your insight to help me understand better.

Further insight into-

Why do Indians really stare more than Americans? Are the reasons Indians stare the same as Americans do? Do I feel differently when Americans stare at me as compared to Indians?

I realized why people stare at me are some of the same reasons I stare at others.

How did I overcome my discomfort with being stared at in India!? It may not be what you expect! (I am still not quite comfortable with it, but.... ;-)

Rather than having a barrier between us by staring, can we agree that the reasons and intentions for staring may be the same regardless of cultural background?


Previous video in this series- Do Indians Stare More Than Americans (also Why do Indians Stare?)? Part 1 of 2


Jennifer Kumar's Facebook profileDo you want to explore these or other cross-cultural stereotypes in a safe, confidential environment with a multi-cultural coach? Creator of these cultural adjustment podcast training series, Jennifer Kumar is a multicultural mentor who is looking forward to meeting you via phone, Skype, e-mail or in person to help you explore your personal development as you create your cross-cultural lifestyle whereever you live. To know more about how I can help you on your Authentic Journey, visit my cross-cultural coaching website, follow me on Facebook, or send your questions to me at authenticjourneys@gmail.com. Thanks!

More Information on cross-cultural and multicultural adjustment help - click here.


Updated April 2011


Copyright ©2010 Jennifer Kumar, CC, LMSW Cultural Adjustment Coach


6 comments so far...

Re: Do Indians Stare More than Americans Part 2/2

Indians stare at foreigners because most of foreigners dress immodestly ,Open-air romance in parks, on motorbikes, in dark glassed cars, onboard train, on main roads, Smacking drugs, Men / boys dressed in torn clothes with peculiar hairdos like cartoons, Women / girls dressed to uncover and makeup / hairdo like buffoons , open sex talks, women need to adorn herself with sobriety and shamefacedness most of western people especially Americans don’t have no shame the men and women behave equally , true love and emotion are cut down List is endless. Foreigners are peculiar species with peculiar lifestyle with no proper culture and no decency. Hence Indians stare at them. Morally Americans are breaking down, families are breaking down, marriages are breaking down..Etc but they boast about themselves that they are perfect people on earth and often forget that most of the continents don’t like their life style. Infact Even God Too! They all the too much freedom to do wrong stuff.Americans stare at Indians or anyone who have dressed modestly.

By Anonymous on   Thursday, October 21, 2010

Re: Do Indians Stare More than Americans Part 2/2

Dear Anonymous... Normally I would not accept comments by people who talk so harshly and negatively especially when you're afraid to even put your name. If one has such strong opinions but can't own them, I am a bit leery of that.
That being said, I decided to post it simply because it is the other side of the coin and it is true that many Indians (or other non-Americans in foreign countries) think this way. I think this kind of response can elicit a lot of hostility because it's so full of negativity and a tone that 'Americans are really bad' and "Indians are the best' or that 'No matter what you say anyhow Americans will never be good.' Please remember no matter where you get your information that we Americans (or whomever you want to bully) are people too. We are human, we have feelings, and how would you feel if people simply mistreated you without full information or knowing the facts. The stereotypes you point out are seen in the media, but let's take people on an individual level- each person has feelings and in their own right tries to do what they think is best.
The statement 'Americans have no culture' is an interesting one. Why? I used to think this!! I am an American and I thought we had no culture. This was until I went to live in India as the only foreigner- I lived in with the people. I never lived alone for the two years I was there. I had to learn a new language, eat completely different food, and learn to socialize in all new ways since there were no Americans or American stuff available to me there. After that experience I realized that Americans do have a culture. I think we all have something to learn from each other and each culture has something good to share with another culture. Yes, we all have our misgivings, but we are again only human.

By admin on   Thursday, October 21, 2010

Re: Do Indians Stare More than Americans Part 2/2

Americans stare plenty at Indians as well - Will be glad to share several experiences over the years with you and my own observations. But it is not over the top like Indians tend to do (with a certain sense of naivete). There are a lot of situations where Indians have to worry about physical safety as well and not just being started at in a curious manner - but being stared at in such a way as to mean "what the heck are you doing here, you don't belong here"..

Judging from my observations of Americans overseas - there is definitely a reluctance on the part of the casual American traveler to modify their ways of behavior, dress, talking and way they carry on no matter where they are - in New York, Oklahoma, Paris or Tokyo, or cowpodunk, India for that matter.

By PlentyofStares on   Monday, December 13, 2010

Re: Do Indians Stare More than Americans Part 2/2

Hi Plenty of Stares,
Absolutely, I agree. It's not only Indians who stare, Americans do too. I tried to point that out in this video. Yes, you have made a good point, Americans still have the 'reputation' for not being 'adjustable' to new environments. The other part I am not sure if I bought out but I have thought of many times since I made this video is that Indians stare at Americans (White people/foreigners) for sure, but somehow I feel the stare is often more well-intentioned and out of genuine curiosity as compared to the stares you mention that happen in America to people who 'look out of place'. It's not always easy to tell the difference in the stare because we have to get past the 'uncomfortable feeling' of being stared at first. Sometimes we know the difference if the person staring at us talks to us soon after or while staring at us. Then, we know the intention better. I am happy to learn more about your experiencs. Thank you for sharing.

By Jennifer Kumar on   Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Re: Do Indians Stare More than Americans Part 2/2

We are proud to be an indian!
Good job. Thanks for sharing!

By Geeta on   Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Re: Do Indians Stare More than Americans Part 2/2

@Anonymous: Oh wow. Your comment says more about you (and stereotypes and prejudices) than about America.

The comment from Anonymous serves as a good example for why Indians (or others) stare. When we encounter something foreign, new or odd. Just because they/we are curious or judgmental.

Of course, there are other types like the lecherous and the menacing stares.

By Lavanya on   Tuesday, April 26, 2011

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