National Culture and The People Magnet

We have a People-Magnet in the house. The magnet is called Ben, a Golden Retriever, he attracts people from any corner of the world. It is quite interesting to see how culture influences the way everyone approaches him – and the person at the other end of the lead.

Living in Southern France, at times we meet quite a lot of tourists.  Here is a summary of the generalities that I have experienced from the nationalities we typically meet around where we live.

The Italians: Start pointing at a distance, come over, ask if they can take a picture, sit down and give him a good rub all over. Say loudly that he is very pretty.

The French: The young generation: Talk about him at a distance, come over and ask if they can touch him and then tell him how beautiful he is. Children tend to just touch him in passing. The others: Walk straight over to him, give him a kiss – or several – and tell me how adorable he is.

The British: Ask politely if they can touch him, sit down to pet him, talk a bit with him and then thank me.

The Germans and the Dutch: They smile, nod to me and may say that I have a beautiful dog.

The Americans (don’t know which states they are from): Talk loudly about him at a distance, then come over and pet him while they tell me about their dog back home.

The Asians (yes, it is a region, will start asking about their country from now on): Politely ask if they can take a picture of the dog, and then with the dog. They pat him gently on the head.

The approach is different, the interest, the love and the smiles are the same.


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