I've often seen people getting defensive when confronted with a different culture by clinging desperately to their own — sometimes in strange ways. For example, when I went to the States, I used chopsticks for everything, even spaghetti (I would never have done this in Japan). It was a way of staying connected with home.
Also, I'd always be complaining about American bathing habits. "Just a shower in the morning isn't enough," I'd say. "You've got to have a bath every night." And I would force myself into a bath every night even though secretly I hated it. It was a great inconvenience.
But part of the reason for traveling and living abroad is being exposed to new ideas and new customs, learning to adapt to them and approach them with an open mind. Which brings us to this week's proverb: When in Rome, do as the Romans do. This means, when you are in a different culture, you should follow its customs.
This proverb traces its origin back to St. Ambrose, the bishop of the Italian city of Milan back in the 4th century. He was asked which day was the appropriate day to fast and he suggested following the custom of the people around you because it was different depending on which part of Italy you lived in. Eventually, his words became "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."
So what happens when you refuse to adjust to a different culture? You'll run intoall sorts of trouble every day over the smallest things. People will be less likely to be friendly and share things with you, and you're bound to cause confusion, or worse, hostility and fear (yes, you should have seen the Americans who saw me attack spaghetti Bolognese with my chopsticks).
But I'm preaching to the converted, aren't I? I don't need to convince you that adapting to foreign cultures is a good thing. I mean, here you are reading ST. You're already trying to see the world through the eyes of English speakers, to speak their language, to learn their customs. The act of learning English itself is proof of cultural flexibility. If you were conservative and narrow-minded and unwilling to adapt, you probably would never have picked this paper up in the first place.
And so I have no doubt that when you're in the States, you'll be the first people to do as the Americans do, or when you're in Britain, you'll be the first people to do as the British do, or if you ever come to Kana's house, you'll be the first people to do as Kana does and eat spaghetti with chopsticks because unfortunately the habit has stuck.
Q1 If you follow the rules and customs of the country you are at, people around you are more likely to:
A1) Be spiteful
A2) Be helpful
A3) Be impressed
正解： A2) Be helpful
Q2 Kana mentions that the act of learning a different language is:
A1) A way of staying connected with home.
A2) A way of showing respect to others.
A3) A way of adapting to a different culture.