By Vanessa B
The idea of culture is multifaceted and quite complicated. Usually, religion, music, and clothing are referred to as culture, but this barely scratches the surface. Your behaviour, values, and belief systems are also fundamental elements of culture that run deep. Culture can be hard to pin down especially as even amongst people of the same origin, multiple sub-cultures exist. Here are some starting points to help you to actively respect and value your culture and the cultures of others.
- Identify your own culture
Have you ever taken the time to identify your own culture? This can be an excellent start to appreciating different cultures. Ask yourself, for example, why do you believe the things that you do? Why do you dress the way you do? Why do you communicate in the manner you do? What personal biases may seem odd to another person? These are questions you need to answer to create a baseline for appreciating other people’s traditions. And when you get answers to these questions (within your culture and others), you may well find interesting similarities amongst all the differences.
- Avoid stereotypes
What is cultural stereotyping? This occurs when you think or express a preconceived opinion about others because of their cultural background. Regardless of one’s religion, sexual orientation, or race, you should treat every person equally and without bias. You shouldn’t look at one’s culture as a way of determining who they are without getting to knowing the individual for yourself. If you are curious, take the time to educate yourself on their culture to know more about what it entails, to remove all stereotypes you may have previously learned.
With knowledge comes power and the ability to make significant decisions to live at peace with others. It’s a truly wonderful thing to be able discover the different cultures that exist in the world and understand the value of diversity and why it should be welcomed. Thankfully, today we live in a world where endless knowledge is at our fingertips. Reading books from other countries is of course, a great way to expand your appreciation of other cultures. Apart from that however, you can also watch movies from other countries and listen to podcasts or foreign online radio shows. Or ask your friends about their cultures and be amazed at the wealth of information you can gather in a few minutes. If you have the means, travel to other countries to broaden your horizon, a very valuable way to learn to appreciate and experience a different culture (provided you don’t just stick to the tourist traps, of course).
- Appreciate differences
Try to resist the urge to suspect, fear, or think cynically about what (or who) you are ignorant about. Adopt a progressive attitude by celebrating the differences you find around you. Have you considered how ordinary the world would be if everyone and every country and culture was the same? Focus on the exciting foods, festivals, homes, inventions, drinks, and fashion from places different to where you come from. Indeed, variety and diversity are the spices of life.
If you have the unique opportunity to travel and explore other cultures, remember these points listed above. Before you go, visit https://london-immigrationlawyer.co.uk to obtain assistance with visas or legal advice if required. Respecting another’s culture is understanding and appreciating the differences they present and it’s an opportunity to prove your humanity to your fellow man on this small blue planet. Being privy to peculiarities when you interact with people from other cultures will only help to generate respect and acceptance, something the world can always use more of.