Below are categories for questions that have been answered by community members. Keep in mind that the following responses may represent many members of this group but do not represent all people in a community. Not all people from diverse populations conform to commonly known culture-specific behaviors, beliefs and actions. Each person is an individual, as well as a community member.

What cultural / ethnic / religious traditions or beliefs should law enforcement be aware of?

  • A simple portrayal of the Chaldeans would be that they are Christians whose ancestors can be traced as far back to ancient Mesopotamia.
  • Aramaic is the language and Chaldeans are the people.
  • The culture puts great emphasis on religion.
  • Chaldean culture is family-oriented. They value hospitality and utilize the Pride-Shame system centered around honor and respect.

What is the appropriate manner to greet you? (demeanor, non-verbal, body space, handshake, bow, male-female interaction etc.)

  • Greeting is very important (verbal): “Shalama elokhon”.
  • It is acceptable to have physical contact (handshake) with the opposite gender.
  • It is acceptable to have a different gender officer interact with family members.

Who should be addressed or acknowledged first? Who is the head of the household?

  • If the father is not available, the eldest male or anyone who is considered the head of the household would answer the door. Typically, a male will answer the door.
  • A youth may translate if the parent’s first language is Arabic or Aramaic.

What is your view / perception of law enforcement? What has been your community's experience with law enforcement?

  • The majority of Chaldeans are highly respectful and trust law enforcement because of past traumas, where they experienced religious/cultural persecution. Living in America makes them feel safer.