The term “cultural awareness” feels overused in today’s world, since multiculturalism can be found in nearly every country in the Western world. But, given the increasing globalisation of the world; rise in job opportunities across borders; growing awareness toward the significance of diversity and inclusion; and popular social and political movements (e.g., Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements), it is quite easy to guess why cultural awareness is a hot topic in this part of the world.
Culture represents the ideas, customs, and socially acceptable behavior of people in a specific group or community. It is reflected through our actions, behaviors, thoughts, and pretty much in whatever we do.
But not everyone around us follows the same culture. In this world of multiculturalism and workforce diversity, cultural awareness plays a key role in one’s success among others.
Let us look at seven ways to become more culturally aware below:
Alter Your Awareness:
Change comes from within. Free your mind from the confined thinking toward other cultures and norms. Become more accepting to other cultures and ways of life.
Educate yourself about cultural diversity:
You can become culturally aware by understanding and learning cultural diversity. Reading books and articles, watching documentaries, or enrolling in cultural studies classes are some popular ways of doing so. This helps to improve the ability to communicate and interact with people from different backgrounds
Travel, explore, and attend culturally diversified places:
Attending cultural events and festivals also helps to become culturally aware. You’ll get a rich and immersive experience; learn about various traditions, beliefs, and customs; meet people from diverse backgrounds; try new foods; and participate in cultural activities.
Vlogs are a great way to share your travel experiences to different countries and regions with others. It also helps others, who may not be that financially privileged, to explore different cultures and learn about their unique traditions and customs. It is an excellent step toward cultural awareness.
Learn a new language or culture:
Learning a new language or taking a sociology course can help you to become more aware by allowing you to communicate with people from different backgrounds. Besides gaining a deeper understanding of their culture, it can also help you to develop a greater appreciation of different cultures and languages.
Some popular online platforms for enriching your cultural awareness include Coursera, Udemy, EdX, LinkedIn Learning, and many more.
Engage with diverse people to become Culturally Aware:
Engaging with people from different helps you become culturally aware. If you are someone residing in Australia, this is easy with the cultural diversity booming here. This can involve forming relationships with people from different nationalities, or just having conversations with people from different cultures. Asking people about their cultures is the simplest way to enhance your knowledge about their beliefs, values, customs, and norms, in a short time.
Explore different forms of art
Reading books, streaming content online, and watching films from different cultures help you gain greater understanding of experiences, values, and beliefs of various cultures. Exploring art, music, and dance forms from different cultures boosts your understanding of multiple cultures.
Networking and Supporting Charity Organizations:
Charity or non-profit organizations (NPOs) like Cultural Diversity Network Inc, play a vital role in promoting cultural awareness and understanding. They help to reduce cultural divides by endorsing mutual respect and tolerance among communities by various initiatives.
For example, CDNI, an Australian non-profit organization, organizes both online and offline events for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in Australia, annually and monthly. These programs bring together people from different backgrounds to share their experiences, customs, traditions, and more importantly, the issues faced by settling or living in a foreign land.
In conclusion, cultural awareness is a critical aspect of effective communication and interaction in today’s increasingly globalized world. By applying these seven ways, you can become more culturally aware and build your ability to connect with people from different backgrounds.
It helps create a world that promotes mutual respect, understanding, and peace.
To round off, remember what the renowned American author and businessman Stephen Richards Covey once said: “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities”!