Understanding other Cultures

357908606_55397a7076_bArguably, the key that we have that opens the door that locks us away from the rest of the world is the internet. With internet as our tool, we try to understand our place in the long halls of the world by acquiring as much knowledge as we possibly can about its places, people and cultures. We read articles, the news, look at statistics, watch tv-shows, films and clips, and we listen to the stories of those who have been or lived abroad, all in the hope of slightly opening the door that is preventing us from exploring everything ourselves.

But at most, we only scratch the surface of how other cultures function. Just as how people from other countries would not be able to make fair and accurate judgements about us by merely reading articles, watching tv-shows, looking at statistics or listening to single stories of people who live here, we do not fully allow ourselves to understand other countries and cultures by believing everything we hear and see.

Looking at the world through the lenses of our own culture prevent us from fully seeing what we are looking at.

To fully understand anything one needs to refrain from generalising or creating one dimensional views on the subject at hand, and instead think critically so as to allow one’s minds to be open by wonder rather than closing it with beliefs or facts, however accurate they may be.  We need to take off our “cultural glasses”.

Even when reading this, remain critical without being completely dismissive. Trust in what you learn, but do not rely on it.

2017-01-04

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