Learning about the cultures and customs of other countries is essential for those seeking enlightenment. People erroneously believe that the customs of the culture they were born into are inherently right.
This causes many people to be guarded when experiencing other cultures, clinging to the familiar. The result turns into a surface experience, lacking depth and meaning. It’s like looking at a book cover and assuming it is the same experience as reading the book.
Expose Yourself to Other Cultures
Exposing yourself to other cultures opens your eyes to alternative ways of life. You may find that when reflecting on another culture, it pushes you to reevaluate customs or mindsets that you have never examined before.
You might have just accepted and never questioned the behavior because that’s how it is in your country. It can lead to epiphanies that might never have been had without being exposed to in a different way.
Failure to learn about other cultures and customs leads to a very narrow view of the world. The more we learn about other cultures, the more we can analyze and grow our own culture.
Learn About Their Currency
Part of learning about other cultures includes the basic building blocks that make up their culture such as the type of currency they use. If you were traveling to Iraq, you might look up where to buy Iraqi dinar before you go to secure local currency.
Learn About the Local Culture
On the lighter side of things, being familiar with other cultures can greatly enhance your experience as you travel the world. Knowing the local culture educates you as to the types of customs you want to experience while there. It also guides you on the types of cuisine you want to seek out and try. Knowing the culture results in a drastically more enriching travel experience.
Learning about other cultures also allows you to be cognizant of other cultures' social norms and mores. When coming into contact with that culture, you can behave in a way they perceive as respectable. You will find that the people of that culture will be much more likely to want to interact and share the exciting customs of their world with you.
You’ll also want to research things like what languages they speak, what religions are practiced, and what type of government is in place. Knowing this type of information could quite possibly save your life.
Understand the Ways of the People
You might need to learn how to approach different types of people, such as women. In Arab nations, many things we routinely do when interacting with women of our culture are serious taboos.
Flirting, shaking hands, or even having a conversation in a private room with an Arab woman could jeopardize their safety. Likewise, knowing the role family plays in a different culture can help avoid uncomfortable offenses.
Another benefit of learning about other cultures is that it cultivates empathy and fosters the peaceful co-existence of humanity. When you understand a culture, you can understand and relate to the struggles they are facing. You develop a more balanced view and can evaluate cultural situations more fairly.
Communication and understanding between cultures go a long way to promote world peace and even help stave off wars. Culture awareness enables parents to raise world-wise children. World-wise children eventually grow up and go out into the world as world-wise adults.
This fundamentally aids in minimizing the impact cultural stereotypes can have on individuals. When your beliefs are based on actual facts and not supposition, you will be less likely to cast blind judgments across an entire group or type of people when your beliefs are based on actual fact and not supposition. Culture awareness also helps fight racism and the devastating effects it can have on a person.
As you can see, the benefits gained by learning about other cultures and customs are as diverse as they are many. You don’t have to try to learn everything about a culture before you experience its positive effects.
Learning a little at a time about other cultures continually contributes to a greater understanding and more diverse world outlook. It will definitely contribute to a fuller, more well-rounded experience in life.