Learn About Their Culture
Do your research. Educate yourself about common practices and etiquette.
But Don’t Pry
Refugees have traumatic pasts. Let them open up to you if, when and how they want. Don’t force them to reveal unnecessary information that makes them uncomfortable.
Teach Them About Your Culture
Find “teachable moments” to help refugees understand why people in your culture do what they do. Provide as much context as you can.
But Don’t Force It
Assimilation is not the goal; refugees should still embrace their traditions and customs. Unless the behavior in question is offensive, illegal or harmful, help refugees find constructive ways to integrate their culture into their new environment.
Find Common Ground
Despite differences, people still have a lot in common — no matter which culture they represent. Identifying shared interests goes a long way in building relationships and helping refugees feel at ease.
And Don’t Make Assumptions
Just because someone is from a certain locale or culture doesn’t mean they’re a textbook case. Ask questions, within reason, instead of assuming.