The Lounge Life #3: Talk about sports and movies

by Angela Weinberger

in the global world of today there is hardly anything that is discussed as often as sports and movies. In intercultural classes we usually teach that this is a good place to start a conversation. We also say that you should stay away from politics, religion and money.

I recommend often that you can use intercultural differences as a good dinner conversation once you have acquired a minimum knowledge about the topic and once you stop speaking in clichés and stereotypes.

This is what I do. Frankly speaking, I am not interested in sports and most business people I talk to are men. They hardly ever like my kind of movies (bollywood-style). When I do not know what to talk about I start a conversation about cultural differences. It is a bit of a hot potato when speaking about the differences between Switzerland and Germany so often it is easier (and more entertaining) when we talk about adventures and stories from cultures such as India or China.

Now with friends and acquaintances in India I can usually speak about “the Europeans” and our local differences. What I notice though is that as our relationships grow deeper I would like to be able to discuss religion, politics and money with friends. Is that risky? Or is it just natural? Also is the etiquette not to speak about these topics not driven by cultural standards as well? In some cultures it is perfectly normal to share your income for example. Just a thought…

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