Contact with People: The Survivor's Behavior
Use salt, tobacco, silver money, and similar items discreetly when trading with local people. Paper money is well-known worldwide. Do not overpay; it may lead to embarrassment and even danger. Always treat people with respect. Do not bully them or laugh at them.
Using sign language or acting out needs or questions can be very effective. Many people are used to such language and communicate using nonverbal sign language. Try to learn a few words and phrases of the local language in and around your potential area of operations. Trying to speak someone's language is one of the best ways to show respect for his culture. Since English is widely used, some of the local people may understand a few words of English.
Some areas may be taboo. They range from religious or sacred places to diseased or danger areas. In some areas, certain animals must not be killed. Learn the rules and follow them. Watch and learn as much as possible. Such actions will help to strengthen relations and provide new knowledge and skills that may be very important later. Seek advice on local hazards and find out from friendly people where the hostile people are. Always remember that people frequently insist that other peoples are hostile, simply because they do not understand different cultures and distant peoples. The people they can usually trust are their immediate neighbors--much the same as in our own neighborhood.
Frequently, local people, like ourselves, will suffer from contagious diseases. Build a separate shelter, if possible, and avoid physical contact without giving the impression of doing so. Personally prepare your food and drink, if you can do so without giving offense. Frequently, the local people will accept the use of "personal or religious custom" as an explanation for isolationist behavior.
Barter, or trading, is common in more primitive societies. Hard coin is usually good, whether for its exchange value or as jewelry or trinkets. In isolated areas, matches, tobacco, salt, razor blades, empty containers, or cloth may be worth more than any form of money.
Be very cautious when touching people. Many people consider "touching" taboo and such actions may be dangerous. Avoid sexual contact.
Hospitality among some people is such a strong cultural trait that they may seriously reduce their own supplies to feed a stranger. Accept what they offer and share it equally with all present. Eat in the same way they eat and, most important, try to eat all they offer.
If you make any promises, keep them. Respect personal property and local customs and manners, even if they seem odd. Make some kind of payment for food, supplies, and so forth. Respect privacy. Do not enter a house unless invited.
Contact with people
Contact with local people |
The survivor's behavior |
Changes to political allegiance