I (Chris) like the NBC comedy “Outsourced.”
[Feel free to silently make all of your comments about how the show is un-politically correct and inappropriate here.]
Most of you have probably seen the Meet the Winklers videos (Part One and Part Two) that Wycliffe produced to give folks a small taste of what life is like for missionaries in our shoes. Outsourced does something similar.
What would it be like to move from a place like Kansas City (where Todd is from) to India? In Todd’s case, he is the manager of a call center and was faced with moving to India or lose his job. While the circumstances might be different from our own, the cross-cultural challenges he faces are quite similar and that is why I like it so much–it’s a comedic look at these challenges, most of which Christie and I have faced countless times. What are some of these challenges? Here’s a sampling:
- Trying to pronounce names from another culture–sure that you’re getting it right but every local insists that you’re completely wrong.
- Finding the balance of learning about this new culture while at the same time craving the things of home.
- Developing friendships with locals but also with other foreigners in the area that can help you process all that is going on around you. (I like when Todd has lunch with both Manmeet and Charlie.)
- Being unsure of what foods will disagree with your stomach–and sometimes paying the price at all the wrong moments.
- Missing the train because of an uncertainty over how to cram yourself onto such public transportation.
- Learning which U.S. foods are best to have shipped in from friends and family.
- Receiving blank looks when using a phrase that clearly didn’t communicate cross-culturally.
- Trying to explain to local colleagues about American foods and customs that seem absolutely bizarre to someone from a non-Western culture.
- Celebrating American holidays in a foreign culture–and learning about local holidays and celebrating them as well.
Interested? NBC on Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. Eastern.