Cultural Understanding

Why cultural understanding is important?
You are going to understand why everyone is different from one another. For example, if someone is a Buddhist and he likes going to temples, that is what his religion is all about. You can take another person who is Catholic and she goes to mass gatherings. That is what their religious beliefs are and there is nothing you can do to stop that. The only thing you can do is to accept what they are. Another example would be having a friend who is afraid of cockroaches. It would be nuts to laugh at this person since everyone looks to be scared of different things. You can have another friend who is afraid of spiders. Yes, like the mere sight of it would leave her running. Again, you can’t look down on her for doing that.

What are some examples of cultural awareness?
In the office, you can do a few things to promote cultural awareness. One great example would be to listen to your colleagues who are foreigners. It is obvious they have different beliefs from your colleagues who are locals. In fact, it is possible they won’t be able to relate to some jokes. If they have nobody else to talk to, you can talk to them so that they would know what it feels like to have someone who shares the same passion such as them. As expected, communication skills are a bit important since you would want to get on your colleague’s good side. If your colleague has nobody to talk to, then it may not be a matter of time before the person resigns. If you know that person is an asset to the company, you would not want that to happen.

Celebrating traditional holidays is one example of cultural awareness. For example, if it is your nation’s independence day, you can still celebrate it even if you are in another country. That would mean a lot regarding your roots.

How would you define cultural awareness in the workplace?
One way to show you are aware of cultural awareness in the office is to celebrate their holidays. For example, you have a colleague who is Australian and it is Australian day the next day. You decide to throw a big party for them in their favour. There is no doubt they are going to appreciate your efforts. Who knows? They may even decide to return the favour one day. Of course, you can’t expect it to be in the form of another party. It can be a favour that is related to what is happening in the office. It could even help you promoted so doing good deeds is always nice.

What are the principles of cultural awareness?
It is being conscious of your colleague’s beliefs and values. There is no need to take them down for what they believe to be nice. For example, if you have a colleague who believes that she likes to stay in great shape by practising yoga, you let her do that. Not everyone is the same. If you like to stay in great shape by playing football then you must understand that it is not a sport that is good for everyone.

How do you teach cultural awareness?
One way would be to make students watch a film about different cultures. After that, give them an exam to see if they understood what they saw. After all, there is a chance some of them may not be paying attention to what is being shown. Another great way would be to have students do a role play about a given culture.

Why is it important to understand student cultural backgrounds?
When you are teaching them lessons, they may be sensitive to some topics. Therefore, you must ask them if it is alright with them to discuss a few topics. If it hits them the wrong way, they may get depressed when they get home.

What strategies can be used to promote an appreciation of cultural diversity in different classes?
A research assignment is given to students would be a great way to make them find out about cross-cultural understanding. The next day, a question and answer portion can follow so they will be fostering greater cross-cultural understanding.

What is culturally responsive teaching and learning?
It is a skill of teaching at a cross-cultural setting. Not all teachers possess this skill so if you have it then you are pretty gifted. It is important to make some students understand their culture or they may end up disobeying their own culture when they grow up. If they do that, a lot of people may get mad at them and they don’t even know it. For example, they may choose to worship the wrong religion.

What are the five basic cultural competence skill areas?
The five are cultural skills, cultural knowledge, awareness of others, open attitude, and self-awareness. An open attitude is keeping in mind that everyone has different attitudes. Cultural knowledge is knowing about your own culture through studying it by yourself. You can also have your parents teach that to you including what you would do for your religion since there are many options regarding that. Self-awareness involves taking good care of yourself. After all, we only have one body and it is our responsibility to take good care of ourselves.

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