I just witnessed a perfect example of a cultural clash. A new reality show aired on TV tonight called “Made in Sweden”. It’s about 3 world famous Swedish song writers trying to help 2 young Swedish singers to the top - to make it not only in Sweden but on the international arena. And one of the song writers has a pretty tight relationship with the world famous Desmond Child. So, they invited Desmond to come help write the single for one of the singers (the guy)… and that’s when the cultural clash took place. lol.
I can totally see both sides - I understand both of them. This is an excellent example of cultural differences where both sides completely misunderstand each other.
I am sure all of Sweden hates Desmond Child by now. :) In the US people are very honest, they usually tell it as it is even if it hurts hearing it. In Sweden they pretty much sugar coat everything, they never say anything that will hurt someone even if it means not telling the whole truth. Well, big shot Desmond Child arrives and the singer starts singing one of his songs – in English I may add which is not his native language – and Desmond asks him when he finishes about some part of the text. He tells the singer “this does not sound right, I don’t like it, it’s not something you would say”. The singer defends himself saying “I do not agree with you – I think it sounds good”.
We have a problem!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)
I understand that Desmond Child feels like “what?... you don’t agree with me?.. Who cares- I’m the expert called in to help you, not to forget, I’m the only native English speaker in this freakn’ room”… Now, Desmond didn’t say that but he brought the singer back to reality pretty fast. ;) ..no sugar coating AT ALL…:) This is not something Swedes are used to, and it pretty much broke the singer. I mean, I understand the singer too. Desmond totally hurt his feelings… I felt his pain and I felt sorry for him. I did. I do. At the same time, I would like to ask the singer “have you never heard the music industry being referred to as “the Cut Throat Industry”… ??? I mean, it’s not for nothing it’s called that way.
Yeah, yeah yeah, so Desmond could have handled the situation in a less harsh manner, but in the US it’s a lot about respecting the people who sit on the expertise. I can only take Mr. L as an example who’s been in both the military and the police force, he has always said “as a rookie you gotta pay your dues… once you have, you’ll get the respect”. It's kind of the same thing here - you are a nobody at this point, but you are getting help from some of the world's best writers... so why are you telling the expert (i.e. Desmond) you don’t agree with him? Even if that is how you feel… keep your mouth shut and go with the flow. Desmond is not here to hurt anyone’s feelings, he’s here to help someone make it as a singer.
CULTURAL CLASH – BIG TIME!!!