I need some advice. I study the bible with other people. My teacher is an English native speaker and so am I. However, my colleagues are not and speak another language. They do know English, but do not speak it fluently. Now, of course there are cultual differences on how we react to things. The behavior shows that. When I go to the bible class, I’m welcomed by my colleagues, but when we talk about the bible with our leader, sometimes, they have a good laugh. Someone praised me for my feedback. I thought that was generous. However, that someone was talking about their struggles and I suggested that they pray on it. What I said must of been so funny because that “someone” could not control her/himself and laughed so hard. I found that weird to laugh at my comment “Pray on it”. I feel that I was nice by suggesting a religious solution, but that didn’t give the effect that I wanted. I quickly suggested that she read on it and that calmed her laugh.
It happens that in this bible class, the other culture laughs at what I say. This is a serious setting and I have a hard time understanding why other “believers” laugh at another believer.
How can I overcome this? I stay in touch with the teacher because she/he is nice and knows my customs well. I do get culture shocks from the laughter and want to avoid the laughter altogether. Do I just stay in my corner and stay quiet or can I speak up? I’m not sure what is the best thing to do in this religious setting. I can act as a professional and that is easy, but in a religious setting, what can I do to overcome the inappropriate laughter coming from “so called believers” like that “someone” who cannot control her/his laughter. I don’t find my face funny. I feel ridiculed and it’s tough because I’m the only native speaker there.
Any ideas on how to feel like an equal and not be ridiculed for what I say?
Again, do I just stay in my corner and keep my mouth closed and never take chances or do I speak up somehow in this situation? My leader is nice, but others’ laughter like that “someone” is annoying.