The Importance Of Intercultural Relationships

1676 Words 7 Pages
The world is becoming a much smaller place and we have to discover how we fit in. We no longer can be ostriches and bury our heads in the sand;, we must learn to communicate and deal with other cultures on a day-to-day basis. Like many other aspects of life, our approach and attitude about the situation can help or hinder the learning—if we are open to explore, the learning can be fun (like learning new recipes, eating interesting food) or if we are not open, it can be like fingernails on chalkboard (for us and those we must learn about).
In many cases, learning about new cultures are not a choice, I have a friend whose new job it is to train the Chinese to take his job (it is going offshore)—pretty hard to have a good attitude about that.
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Learning about other cultures helps us sometimes see where we came from, it gives us roots; in my case, learning from anyone who came directly from Poland, Wales, England or France would open my eyes to many things that I was taught as I grew up since a few of my grandparents came directly from these places. So it is not always about learning from different cultures, but learning ‘your’ culture. Another reason to enjoy learning about other cultures is to understand how the families work—there may be some traits that families from the Far East could teach us about treating and respecting elders, teachers and others; there are truths that could be learned from the Jewish people and their traditions and religious practices that could make more clear some things that our Judeo-Christian doctrines have taught us. There is probably something great that we could learn from virtually every country on the globe: the joy of the Kenyans was inspiring—we spent a few weeks in Nairobi, Kenya a number of years ago; it was like stepping back into what I picture the 1920/1930’s in America would look like, the women wear dresses, heels, and hose to work each day, while the men wear three-piece suits and ties, the people are ultra-respectful and most do not have the basic appliances, so they buy their food for the evening on their way home from work, cook it over a coffee can stove, and it is amazing how …show more content…
Another reason is the feeling that our culture is much better than the other culture—‘ethnocentrism’. Some may be afraid of losing their ethnicity with the melding of other cultures; in the early years of this country, immigrants would settle in the same areas as others from the same country and keep their language (at home), their food, their religion, and their ethnic purity—many cultures did not allow intermarriage for many, many years as seen in the movie The West Side Story (Robbins & Wise, 1961). Many cultures frown on (especially) romantic relationships due to the differences in religious beliefs citing that many marriages where the partners do not agree on religion may fail once children are introduced into the family (Family Facts.org. N.D.). I had a good friend from India, he went back to India to get married (he was over 30) to a bride he had never seen. I asked him about that practice because our children followed a less traditional way of meeting their spouses, they courted—so this was of interest. He said that his parents and her parents both look for someone for their child who would match their personalities and living styles, someone who was raised similarly (parenting styles), someone from similar financial backgrounds, and most importantly, someone with the same beliefs. He came back to the U.S.

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