During their resettlement migrants face numerous instances where cultural differences emerge. Normal, day-to-day situations can turn out to be pleasant encounters, but also startling or even mind boggling. And this is not only true for the newcomer. Volunteers, caretakers, neighbors in the host country can also wonder about an intercultural encounter.
Take a migrant from a country where society is hierarchical. Visiting a doctor in the egalitarian Netherlands may be a surprise as the doctor may ask the patient what he or she thinks has caused a certain inconvenience. Four volunteer interculturalists, associated with the Hofstede Centre, that have experienced these differences due to their international background, have taken the initiative to create a number of these daily encounters.
The easy-to-read stories show cultural differences with the Dutch culture, offer guidance on the cause of differences and offersuggestions on how migrants as well as Dutch nationals can overcome these in a positive way. Illustrations will help the user to navigate through these intercultural situations. The explanations are done in laymen terms and with additional information based on scientific research, for users who want to understand more. The stories depict the daily struggles of the fictitious family Yousef, a refugee family with Syrian roots, settling into the Netherlands.
Stories have been validated by refugees as well as organizations providing assistance to migrants. Prof. Geert Hofstede has validated the cultural implications of the events described in the stories.
Illustrations were made by Emmi Kyytsönen.