Stages TOOLKIT

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031 – Culture Shock Game

  1. There are many different cultural greetings. For example, Westeners may be familiar with a handshake. 
  2. Walk around the room, mingling and shaking hands with everyone. Greet one another, ‘Hi, my name is…’, stating your name and making direct eye contact. 
  3. One person calls ‘freeze’ and introduces the next cultural greeting – to stick out your tongue – a tradition of some Tibetan tribes. Again, greet each other with ‘Hi, my name is…’, whilst sticking out your tongue.
  4. Introduce two more greetings –  rubbing noses and kissing both cheeks.
  5. Be especially mindful of potential stereotyping. If the group reacts with laughter to any of the greetings, it is important to have a conversation and evaluate this. 

 

Notes: This is an excellent ice breaker warm-up game and it also introduces the context of cultural diversity. It frees up the group and encourages playfulness, which is essential for accessing creativity. Participants hear each other’s names and it develops connection and group awareness. It opens up a discussion about cultural differences, etiquette, physical proximity and personal space. Start the discussion at the end of the exercise by asking for comments and feedback on the different cultural greetings.

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