Ahhhh, Hofstede. I’ve joked before that if we had to sum up our entire program, it would be Hofstede’s cultural dimensions– or knowing your audience, their traditions, their practices, and their tendencies. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions include several dualities describing spectrums of characteristics of a specific culture. They include the power distance index, individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity (a favorite topic of discussion among our cohort), uncertainty avoidance index, pragmatic versus normative, and indulgence versus restraint. Each dimension offers a brief and general summary of a certain country’s cultural profile. (Click here for Ireland’s full profile.)
While Ireland is similar in many aspects to the lifestyle or norms in the US, one important dimension is quite obviously observed while working and living in Ireland. It is the dimension of indulgence versus restraint. Ireland has a score of 65 on this scale, meaning the culture is one of indulgence and appreciation of life.
With a high score of 65, it is clear that Irish culture is one of indulgence. People in societies classified by a high score in indulgence generally exhibit a willingness to realise their impulses and desires with regard to enjoying life and having fun. They possess a positive attitude and have a tendency towards optimism. In addition, they place a higher degree of importance on leisure time, act as they please and spend money as they wish. -Hofstede Centre
.The Irish place high value on their family and friends and working to live rather than living to work. Nightly, friends gather for drinks, dinner, jokes, and a general good time. Yes, it is much like this in Atlanta, but it has a certain air that feels…refreshing for lack of a better word. Maybe it is the rose colored glasses I have looked through this entire trip, but it just seems people greatly appreciate even the small things here.
Personally, my internship has offered first hand experience of this “indulgence” dimension. The office at the film festival is fun, lively, relaxed, and full of laughter and jokes. The work environment encourages success and achievement while simultaneously honoring being meticulous, careful, and detailed. It’s a fine and perfect balance. Planning the July event, being a bit of a mini-festival, has shown me a lot of what goes into planning a film event, specifically distribution and copyright laws, safety, city ordinances, hospitality, and marketing. There’s a lot that goes into these kinds of things, but this office and its staff handle it with such poise and composure, knowing it’s probably wasted energy to stress and worry. That, in of itself, is refreshing to be around as it is completely in line with my personal philosophy. Work is work, and life after work is spent with family and friends. It is quite pleasant.
I have one week left in my internship and will be sad to go. It’s been lovely working here for even such a short time, though it’s been about seven weeks. They’ve flown by, for sure. It has been a great experience, and I hope I can bring back some of this “indulgence” dimension back home.
(One last thing: I was writing this when my friend and fellow intern Helene creeped behind my shoulder. She said, “Oh, Hofstede!!” He’s an international phenomenon, the rock star of global communication, and the guru of cultural awareness. Cheers to you, Hofstede.