Odd & Not So Odd Questions

Most people we know think they are hugely cosmopolitan, just because they are here in London, one of the most diverse cities in the world.  

But through SharedCity we've realised everyone - from our cofounders and guides, to the people who come on our tours, to our family and friends - has HUGE gaps where it comes to each other's cultures.

There are so many unspoken misunderstandings and misconceptions about the different cultures we share this wonderful city with.

Which is why we offer our tours.  Our guides are happy to clear up any confusion and answer any of your questions politely.  How can we learn without asking questions?

To get the ball rolling, here are some cross cultural questions that come up again and again on our tours.

(By the way, the answer to all these are 'NO'!)

Don't Islamic women get too hot in a headscarf? 

Will I get a good coffee if I order a 'latte' in an Italian restaurant?

Oh you're Muslim, so you must be from Pakistan, right? 

So you're Jewish you must speak Hebrew, right?

[To black lady with obvious wig] Where did you get your haircut?

Isn't eating in an Indian restaurant the same as eating in India?

There are other strange comments that people make: we've heard it asked whether Orthodox Jews have sex through a sheet and whether Muslim women sleep in their headscarves.  Black women get tired of so much hair-related commentary but point out that there are heaps of politics tied up to Afro hair, so if you ask a question about it expect either a huff or a long drawn out answer.

Some people steer away from asking questions as they feel rude or stupid or that you 'should' know the answer.  But honestly all the SharedCity guides would prefer you to ask anything.  Be direct.  Be rude.  We think it's far ruder not to!