(sorry in advance for being less concrete about the country where the company is situated in and also where the new co-worker is coming from and about the gender of the co-worker. I did this for anonymity's sake since I do not know if anyone of the comapny is active on this board)
I work in the department that deals with process development in a mid-size Software Development company which is located in Central Europe. We got a new co-worker recently who is from a country that was in former times part of the British Raj (as I said, I will not directly name the country for reasons of anonymity) and I see that there are some cultural differences to overcome.
In order to specify what I mean with "cultural differences to overcome", I think I need to state what my imagination/prejudice of the working culture in the Indian subcontinent is:
If you work in the Indian subcontinent in the Software Development branch, you work in a big enterprise where you are not seen as an employee who needs to be respected, who has human demands and individuality, you are seen as a servant. You are not supposed to be creative or state suggestions, you will do exactly what you are told to do with no deviations. Subordination is key - if you are assigned as a Chaiwalla although you wanted to be a programmer, then you have to accept that. But if you serve well for at least ten years or so, you will have the privilege to get to the desired position.
I highlighted the word serve, because I think our co-worker has this serving mentality from "over there": If I or my superior give her/him instructions to anything work related, show her/him work-related technologies, she/he constantly nods and says "OK... OK... OK...". It is annoying and she/he has obviously the need (it seems) to show all the time, that he/she is subordinate and will never object. I could tell her/him the stupidest horse s*** and she/he will still say "OK". He/She constantly adresses my superior formally with "Mr./Mrs. xyz" although all colleagues adress themselves just with the forename, which is of course more personal and casual.
Why is this a problem you may ask?
We do not need a reserved servant, who is to afraid to object and think outside the box. In our department, we need exactly the opposite: you are supposed to be creative, you must elaborate your own solutions (and justify them) and pick and schedule tasks on your own.
So the questions is:
How can I help the co-worker to get rid of this tension, this unease - seemingly originating from the programmer-factory mentalities of India/Pakistan/Bangladesh - from the co-worker? I see otherwise no chance for the co-worker to stay in that position, which would be a bit sad because I also see that the co-worker wants to prove herself/himself as diligent.