Why should we care about other cultures? Simple, we live in a diverse world. We can’t run away from culture. ACU alone has over 50 nations represented on campus. Undergraduates are required to take either six hours of a foreign language or cultural awareness classes. This is a smart course to take advantage of, yet is put off or a language is chosen just so the credit can be taken care of. Instead of taking a language to get rid of a credit, why not take one that interests you? It’ll allow you to explore another culture that you wouldn’t look at normally.
First though, what is culture? We have to know what culture is before we can be aware of it. There are many different definitions, from the Webster Dictionary to the Cambridge Dictionary, with each entry having multiple definitions. But one thing is agreed upon, culture is a way of life for a group of people, including their way of learning, beliefs, behavior, habits and their attitude towards each other. Knowing what culture is helps you better understand how it impacts us on a daily basis. We see culture every day.
So, then what is cultural awareness? Here cultural awareness is defined as the foundation of communication and it involves the ability of standing back from ourselves and becoming aware of our cultural values, beliefs and perceptions. If we understand and become aware of other cultures that surround us, we will be better personally because we will be able to interact appropriately and minimize misinterpretations that can happen in conversations.
Being able to learn about other cultures will help us in all areas of our lives. From personal to professional lives, we run into others with different backgrounds from our own. In the professional realm, you won’t be surrounded by people with your same background. There will be people from all walks of life. By understanding other cultures, that not only puts you in a better position to have a positive work experience, but also it’ll allow you to be able to communicate and cooperate with your coworkers. By cooperating with each other, we’ll better not only our productivity but benefits as well.
We are surrounded by all different types of cultures. From African to Hispanic to Asian cultures, you can find many on this campus. There are many opportunities to dive into these cultures. With events and classes, we have the ability to enrich ourselves in culture. If you find a particular culture intriguing, study it. Learn a new language. Expose yourself to opportunities that allow you to grow as a person. By understanding other cultures, we can have a broader outlook on the world and be more open to different ideas and perspectives, which benefit everyone in the long run.