Culture affects our society at every level including politics, sexuality, gender and identity but, in short, culture is sculpted through social practice (Reference Magazine, 2019). With the world’s population standing at a whopping 7.7 billion, it would be an understatement to say the range of different cultures around the world is not on a broad spectrum. Because not everyone has the same beliefs as others, our world will not be viewed the same in everyone’s eyes.
Some may believe that marriage outside of their religion is wrong, while others have no problem whatsoever with it; and some may believe that eating certain foods should be an abomination whilst others are perfectly fine with it. And not only is everyone looked upon differently based on what their actions are; whether you may think so or not, you always have something to say about someone who is not from the same culture as yourself. No matter what we say, or what we do, whether we may think it’s right or wrong in our eyes, someone who comes from a different culture and has different beliefs will most likely have something to say about your actions.
Not only are cultural beliefs affecting the educational system, but it is also playing a big role in economical aspect. When a teacher and a student come from two different cultures and different learning environments, many perplexities can be possibly brought into the light and make things more difficult on both the teacher’s and student’s behalf; this including language barriers that can be hard for certain students to adapt to; a different economic system can also play a role in the learning environment, and effects from this may include the student or teacher feeling out of place when seeing what and how people act when around them with the knowledge of them not being from the same setting as themselves (Hofstede, 1986). Equally important, this can be avoided if people took the time out of their day to gain more knowledge on other cultures and find something to like about it, maybe then people could walk around with every stare not being a judgmental one from those who lack a sense of maturity.
Having cultural diversity has allowed for more extension within different cultures as well as allowing more jobs and industries to come into play and expand outside their own countries. Also, it gives everyone a chance to be unique and to be their own person, and not have everyone behaving the same way everywhere you go (Reference Magazine, 2019). With cultural diversity being what our world is and what we must live by, it has taught us to respect each other more and respect one another’s opinions, and to be more tolerant of the different behaviors we see on a daily and not act out right at that instant. Obtaining knowledge on diversity within the people around us every day will of course guarantee that more people will want to take a deeper look into what other cultures, besides your own, is really like.
With the United States being the most culturally diverse country, it is hard for most teenagers to settle in to a new environment. A teen, for example, could be from another country and have different beliefs from peers around him/her and this can cause them to have a hard time fitting in or can even result in them stressing themselves to fit in, they can start to have a low self-esteem on themselves, for example “Asian cultures generally frown against direct eye contact because it signals aggression and disrespect, while for Americans it is a sign or paying keen attention.” And for this reason, it is important to educate teens on developing positive reactions to cultural differences with other people, rather than negative reactions that can highly affect their well-being (Holden, 2019).
A child will follow in the foot steps of what he/she sees the parents or others around them doing, so it is important for the parents to set the standard at a early age for their age. Teach them the right from the wrong but also teach them about why not everyone that they will encounter will be the same as them; not the same skin color, accent, style, knowledge, nor beliefs. While it may be hard for someone to change to change their mind set from what they have been taught it to be, it is however possible for one to teach themselves understanding and acceptance if they are willing to do it.
The fact of the matter is, most people have no concern towards cultural differences affecting society and the way of living, people don’t even care about what is happening in other countries until it starts affecting them heavily. By learning more about people from different cultures, we can broaden our horizons and boundaries.
The need for more examination and realization has reached the maximum limit for ignoring it, the world cannot carry on like this; the world cannot carry on with knowing the fact that somewhere, someone is being discriminated because of their culture and because they don’t have the same beliefs as others, all because people are not taking positive thoughts towards those from other cultures instead of being all about themselves and only what matters to them, into consideration. With just taking the chance to start a conversation with someone from outside your country, one can learn so much more that they were completely clueless about at first. You can even start with the simple task of tasting a dish from a different culture and breaking down how it would be made different in another country (Shah, 2017).
In conclusion, we live in a world where cultural differences are what we have to live by. But not everyone is as willing to accept it as are others. Everyday someone from a different culture in introduced to something new from another culture and doesn’t know how to react or just isn’t accepting of the fact, and this is because people are not concerned with learning more about the world they live in.
A change can start with parents teaching their children to be more open to learning more about someone that is not from the same background as them or even starting with reading a book a day or eating a national dish from a country outside where one resides. A little dedication and perseverance to learn and explore something new never hurts anyone, but if these are put to the side without consideration, more people will end up being judged more often and must live with the thought of having to live in a society where acceptance is not something that comes without constant persuasion.
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3) Reach Out.com, (2019). Understanding a different culture, https://au.reachout.com/articles/understanding-a-different-culture
4) Hofstede, G., (1989). Cultural differences in teaching and learning, www.sciencedirect.com
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7) Dr. Edward Group, (2016). How culture and society influence healthy eating, www.globalhealthcenter.com
8) GreatSchools Staff, (2016). How cultural differences may affect student performance, www.greatschools.com
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10) Shah, A., (2017). Cultural diversity: Why we should respect other cultures, www.dallasnews.com