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Cultural Differences Between India and Pakistan

One member of the town council was recently quoted as referring to the Indian and Pakistani residents of the town as basically being the same people with the same culture. He can't understand the angry reactions of the Indian and Pakistani residents. You need to send an e-mail to the mayor and town council in order to explain exactly why this statement is not acceptable. Include the following issues:

---Explain the cultural differences between India and Pakistan.
---Give an overview of the history of conflict between India and Pakistan, in order to explain why these two countries in particular would not want to be considered interchangeable.
---Address the question of how Indian and Pakistani communities relate to each other within the United States.

Solution Preview

One approach to help you with an assignment like this one is to look at each section from various perspectives, which you can consider and draw on for your final copy. This is the approach this response takes.

RESPONSE:

Dear (name),

Inida and Pakistan are different countries with different types of cultures, governments and religions. Culture consists of language, ideas, beliefs, customs, taboos, codes, institutions, tools, techniques, works of art, rituals, ceremonies and symbols. It has played a crucial role in human evolution, allowing human beings to adapt the environment to their own purposes rather than depend solely on natural selection to achieve adaptive success. Every human society has its own particular culture, or sociocultural system. (Adapted from source: Encyclopaedia Britannica)

1. Explain the cultural differences between India and Pakistan.

India is officially called Republic of India (Hindi Bharat), is located in southern Asia and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. On the other hand, Pakistan is an Islamic republic. Islam is the state religion and the Constitution requires that laws be consistent with Islam. The Constitution states, "subject to law, public order and morality, every citizen shall have the right to profess, practice, and propagate his religion;" however, in practice the Government imposes limits on freedom of religion. Freedom of speech is constitutionally "subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam" (http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2007/90233.htm).

India and Pakistan differ of the three elements of culture: values (ideas that tell what in life is considered important), norms (consists of expectations of how people should behave in different situations) and artefacts (things or material culture - reflects the culture's values and norms but are tangible and manufactured by man) (http://ezinearticles.com/?How-
To-Understand-Cross-Cultural-Analysis&id=403111). One way to explain the difference between the two countries' cultures is through comparing the five dimensions Hofstede uses to distinguish between national cultures, which are:

? Power distance, which measures the extent to which members of society accept how power is distributed unequally in that society. (India: 77; Pakistan: 55; USA:40)
? Individualism tells how people look after themselves and their immediate family only in contrast with Collectivism, where people belong to in-groups (families, clans or organizations) who look after them in exchange for loyalty. (India: 48; Pakistan: 14; USA: 91)
? The dominant values of Masculinity, focusing on achievement and material success are contrasted with those of Femininity, which focus on caring for others and quality of life. (India: 56; Pakistan: 50; USA: 62)
? Uncertainty avoidance measures the extent to which people feel threatened by uncertainty and ambiguity and try to avoid these situations. (India: 40; Pakistan: 70; USA: 46)
? Confucian dynamism. This Long-term versus Short-term Orientation measured the fostering of virtues related to the past, i.e., respect for tradition, importance of keeping face and thrift. (India: 61; Pakistan: (not given); USA: 21)

Comparing India and Pakistan

According to Hofstede's Cultural Analysis mentioned above, India and Pakistan differ on most cultural norms and dimensions.

First, India and Pakistan differ in the levels of inequality of power and wealth in the societies, with India being higher than Pakistan. For example, the Geert Hofstede analysis for India shows a large power distance (77) society and all other measures are relatively moderate, as compared to Pakistan (55). This would be indicative of the fact that India is in the midst of change. The traditional caste systems ...

Solution Summary

In reference to the scenario, this solution provides assistance in writing a memo. It explains the cultural differences between India and Pakistan. It also gives an overview of the history of conflict between India and Pakistan, in order to explain why these two countries in particular would not want to be considered interchangeable. Finally, it addresses the question of how Indian and Pakistani communities relate to each other within the United States.

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