Growing up I was extremely blessed to have a family that came from many different cultural backgrounds, and to have parents that always made sure that I had a rich cultural education. From the time I was a little girl I always had numerous opportunities to become aware about the different cultures of the world. My parents always provided me with experiences to visit museums, festivals, read stories, and meet with people of other cultural backgrounds. For this, I am forever grateful. Yet, as I grow up, I realize that the world is not as cultural educated as I thought it was, and not as progressive as I thought it was either. So, I would like to encourage others to become familiar with other cultures so that we can all respect each other and created a world with a a friendly and diverse culture.
It is human nature to be uneasy about a person or a group who does not look the same as you, speak the same as you, eat the same a you, sound the same as you, or behave the same way that you do. But, it is essential to be able to understand and respect other cultures for their customs and practices, because our differences are what keeps us alive. Just because someone does not wear the same style of clothing, or read the same holy book that you do does not mean that it is impossible to try to understand one another and appreciate a person as a human. So, to encourage everyone to become more open minded and to broaden their cultural horizons, I have gathered some of the best ways to become cultural educated:
1) A fantastic way to learn more about a culture is to visit a museum of a specific culture, like a Japanese museum, or an African museum. Visiting museums is one of the best ways to learn some basic information about a culture in a fun and interactive manner. While you can easily Google anything that you may want to know about a culture, it is often times more intriguing to visit a museum and learn from artifacts and art about the background of a culture.
2) Join or Start a Multicultural Club at your School! Multicultural Clubs are a super fun way to become involved in your schools as well as to learn more about an array of cultures. At my school, our multicultural club is huge, and has members from cultures from around the globe. Each meeting there is a presentation about one or two countries to teach the club members the basics about the featured cultures. Then, every few weeks, there is a potluck to encourage all members to bring traditional food from their culture to share with their peers. Clubs like these are one of the best ways to meet people from other cultures at your school, and to learn more about other cultures while becoming more involved on your campus.
3) Attend an Interfaith Event: Another great way to get to know more about a culture or religion that you are unfamiliar with is to attend an event that promotes interfaith tolerance, and teaches about other religions. At Interfaith activities there is an opportunity to visit various houses of worship, and to understand the fundamental ideas of other religions, regardless of your religion. Understanding more about different religions can make you more educated, and make your campus or life more peaceful and tolerant. Learning more about a religion can open your mind, and allow you to make deeper connections with people of other faiths.
The impact that being culturally educated can make is incredible, and it will open your mind and allow you to connect with people of other cultures and religions. The importance of getting a cultural education is unspeakable and there is no way to truly express how enlightening it is to be able to see the world from different perspectives to understand the cultures of many around you.