Cultural Communicative Styles: The Case of India and Indonesia

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, Indonesia‎

Abstract

The present study highlights a number of similarities and differences among cultural communicative styles used in India versus Indonesia. The analysis is based on Hall’s theory (1959, 1966, 1976, 1983) of high-context (HC) and low-context (LC) cultures, and Hofstede’s (2008) cultural dimension of collectivism versus individualism. When viewed through the lens of Hall’s theory, India and Indonesia can both be classified as HC cultures, although India appears to be moving in the direction of LC culture. When both cultures are observed via Hofstede’s account of collectivism versus individualism, it is evident that Indonesia belongs to a collectivist culture, whereas India can be considered as both individualistic and collectivistic. There are marked differences in the ways that Indians and Indonesians interact, yet they also share a number of similarities, including respecting their elders and persevering in the accomplishment of tasks. This study also suggests how potential gaps between members of different cultures can be bridged by promoting intercultural acceptance.

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