About Palm Leaf

What’s the “Palm Leaf”?

Originally, there was ae email travel diary during my first business trips to India, aimed at my friends. Then, it got new dimensions, like a German blog, and it reached out to new audiences. Eventually, the coverage of topics also grew.

What’s the “Palm Leaf”?

“Palm Leaf” is a little bit like a newspaper. Originally, those were emails to friends and family. Then, at my second trip to India, it happened: From Day One on, on our way from the hotel to the city center, there was that huge pile of garbage with that palm leaf on top. The palm leaf turned into the running gag of the diary stories of the next few days – and the title “palm leaf” was born. So: What’s the “Palm Leaf”? – A place to share stories.

What’s the “Palm Leaf”?

Maybe it’s not quite that easy: My observation of the first several trips was also, that Palm Leaf has turned quite important for my personal well-being on these cross-cultural business trips. My own cultural openness hasn’t grown far enough for me to make the trip without a cultural shock. Readers of the German “Bananenblatt” may have seen the frequency of stories go down over the duration of the trip. Probably, both passing time and writing about exotic events help get over the cultural shock. So, please be patient with articles, stories and experiences – and especially the participants. We are all doing our best, we can’t do any better. So: What’s the “Palm Leaf”? – A way to deal with cultural shock.

What’s the “Palm Leaf”?

Last but not least, the German Bananenblatt and with it the English “Palm Leaf” has a third role. It was implicitly always there, and now it’s time to speak about it: It’s about conveying an atmosphere of cultural openness, a way to share the cultural mirror that I’m experiencing. Sure, many of the things reported here are not particularly funny when experienced first hand (though coping with it is made a lot easier by thinking about how to write about it here). Nevertheless: Readers bringing the willingness to laugh can hopefully learn a lot about the cultures involved, especially about their own. So, if you ever think “how can you…” (or even more intense thoughts) is invited to hold their breath for a moment: You just fell over one of your assumptions that “people have to behave so-and-so”. Why do they “have to” at all? What happens if not? Maybe it was useful, once upon a time – but is that purpose still there? And so on.
So: What’s the “Palm Leaf”? – A cultural mirror.

This post is also available in: German