An intercultural communication manual between Italians and Sudanese has been set up which is aimed at business people, tourists, NGOs and members of public institutions. It was developed from a study by the Italian embassy in Sudan, and set up in association with the Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. The result will be published online following months of intensive work preparing it between Rome and Khartoum.
The study was carried out with information from the Directorate General for Italian Citizens Abroad of the Foreign Ministry, and the aim was to create the conditions to encourage dialogue between Italians and Sudanese and avoid critical interpersonal or communication issues due to cultures which can be very different.
In recent months, the University researchers submitted questionnaires to dozens of Italians in Sudan, Sudanese in Italy, mixed families and people who have personal or working relationships with the other country. Students, teachers, business people, members of public institutions, aid-workers, journalists and simple supporters were included, forming a valuable cross-section of opinion. Firstly, the reciprocal perception of certain essential social and cultural values like power, hierarchy, family, gender equality, space, time, money and religion were compared between Italians and Sudanese. Then the verbal and non-verbal communication methods of the two cultures were analysed.
Italian ambassador in Sudan, Fabrizio Lobasso, said: “Through reciprocal awareness the study aims to bring the two countries closer together, creating the conditions to encourage more open dialogue, greater comprehension, and a global dialogue that enriches everybody.”