A culture bump occurs when two or more people enter a situation with different expectations about a behavior. It can be caused by: communication styles, behaviors involving the use of time, space or speaking, physical objects such as clothing or artifacts, or even the architecture or decor of a location. Proxemics and formality differences can also cause a culture bump.

A culture bump can either result in a relationship or a stereotype. These are affected by the amount of self-reflection, analysis and communication between the parties involved after the bump occurs.


Think of culture bumps like riding bumper cars: Bumps are inevitable! You can either gain understanding that we’re all in this together, and maybe have a little fun, or you can just get frustrated and let your emotions rule your judgments.

Or…watch as Josh from the USA and Mazen from Syria have a culture bump.  See if you can identify the bump.