Asian Culture

Natalie Allison

Comfort zones/rules

  • Asian Americans stand close but do not touch.
  • They believe that kissing and hugging is for intimate relationships and should never be done in the public view.


  • Gestures, body language, eye contact, pitch, etc. are very important in their communication.
  • Using indirect methods if communication may be appropriate for some Asian students with strong ties to their ancestral culture.
  • They are very polite in social encounters but not very comfortable with direct questioning.

Family Life

  • Some Asian husbands make all of the healthcare decisions for their wife.
  • Children must not bring shame to the family
  • The welfare and integrity of the family are very important.
  • Placing a strong emphasis on family and your families protection is very important.
  • The family "model" is extended, including immediate relatives (mom, dad, brother and sisters) but also more extended members (grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins).

Other Beliefs

  • Some Asians believe that time runs on their own course.
  • They believe that health is a reward from God; health is a spiritual harmony.
  • Three main Eastern Philosophies are Buddhism, Confucianism, and Toaism.
  • They teach principles of peace, balance, and harmony.

Suggestions for Healthcare Workers

To avoid a communication break down with Asians:

  • Establish the professional's role and assume authority
  • Check for understanding
  • Be patient and consider periods of silence opportunities for reflection on what has been said.
  • Provide clear and full information, such as what is expected from each participant in the discussion.
  • Be attentive to nonverbal cues.
  • Address immediate needs and give concrete advice.
  • Reach a consensus by compromising.