[Mageia-discuss] Cultural difference: "Let your yes be yes" <---> "It is rude to say no"

Marja van Waes marja11 at xs4all.nl
Thu Jul 12 18:20:43 CEST 2012

Again, and now to the correct ml (was wrongly sent to doc-discuss)

Within Mageia, contributors from all over the world work together. We 
come from different countries, speak different mother tongues and have 
different cultural backgrounds.

That can lead to confusion at times.

In our community I'm sometimes reminded of a difference between the area 
where I was born, and the rest of the Netherlands, which my schoolmates 
and I used to call "Holland".

Where I was born it is not done to answer "no" if someone asks you to do 
something. You're supposed to be nice and friendly, not rude, so you say 
you'll do it, even if you can't or if you're not sure.

In the words of someone who returned to the area after having lived in 
"Holland" for 30 years:

"Jao, is hie gein ech jao, mer ein belaefde meneer óm nei te zèkge!"
('"Yes" is no real yes here, but a polite way to say "no"!')

The rest of the Netherlands has been under strong influence of all the 
Dutch who read their Bibles everyday. So there it is: 'let your "yes" be 
yes and your "no" be no'

Now that is hard, when you grow up in a "no is rude" area and then move 
to "Holland". You continue to say "yes", because saying "no" feels like 
a major sin, but now you're expected to *do* all those thing you said 
you'd do. :-(

Someone moving from "Holland" to the "no is rude" area goes crazy, too. 
Within weeks he'll think the people there hate him, because many things 
they agree to do don't get done (or only much later).

How do we cope with such differences within our community?


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