It does not happen often, but every now and then I have to really dig into my experience as a professional DJ to figure out how to make things work at an event. Most recently, it was due to some cultural differences that I did not take into account and fortunately was helped by some of the guests to understand and find an effective solution.
Even though I have lived and traveled through a large section of Eastern and Central Asia, I still view how an event is supposed to go in the USA from an American perspective. This is not necessarily a bad thing but can be a blind-spot when not taking into account cultural differences. If I was in South Korea or Uzbekistan, I would not think twice about ASSUMING the way we do it here is the way it is done there. But being here in the USA, my vision is not as wide and expansive at times since it is my home. I ASSUMED that the order of events that are typical for an American social event were the same everywhere, big mistake. I know better. I ASSUMED that there is some time before dinner for people to mingle and settle, dinner, cake/coffee/tea and then everybody is ready to let go and dance till they are cleaning the tables and folding chairs. This is not the case everywhere.
The event I was providing professional DJ services for was a high school graduation party for an American Punjabi family. The event was at an Indian Restaurant and they followed Indian traditional order of social events. The dancing for events is between the appetizers and the main meal, not after the main meal. I did not know this, I do now!
Again, if not for the willing guests who showed me the way, I am afraid the party would not have been the success it was. I am grateful they took the time to explain to me how this works and what to do. They even shared with me what music to play when!
The lesson learned for me is an old lesson relived: Don’t make ASSUMPTIONS, especially with cultural differences.