The good news is that cultural sensitivity can be developed with practice. It is possible to develop cultural competence. The first step involved is self-assessment. One needs to examine their historical roots, beliefs, and values. By understanding one's past and the influences that created the culture and its experiences, enables one to realize the pervasive role that culture plays in their life. Besides, self-assessment makes one aware of the biases in their culture and creates a curiosity about other cultures. The second step in developing cultural competence is learning about other cultures. Learning about other cultures can be facilitated by learning new languages. Also, one can learn about other cultures by visiting foreign countries and experiencing the way of life first hand. In this way, one can immerse themselves in a new world perspective. Lastly, one can develop their cultural sensitivity by interacting more with people from different cultures and understanding their fundamental beliefs. The experience is capable of changing ones views on the particular culture.
On the other hand, conservative societies aim to preserve their way of life because it comprises their identity. A culture is a way of life that is defined by particular norms that are agreed upon by the society. While some may be questionable, most are aimed at protecting the members of the community, especially from vices. By choosing to depart from the ways that are accepted by society, an individual isolates themselves from the people who first are family and from their origin. Leaving home for selfish reasons is a departure from one's roots and forsaking ones origins. Without culture, one has no identity. Identity is important because it influences how one perceives the world. The world is viewed from behind the perspective of ones culture. An individual cannot understand the world without first understanding themselves.
Culture is an important aspect of an individuals life. Individuals can only see the world from the perspective of their culture before they understand it. Departing from ones culture puts an individual at risk of disillusionment. The norms of a culture are mainly established to protect its people. It has been determined that people, especially from conservative cultures, leave home to go to liberal cultures. The students who leave home to find other cultures in Australia, for example, need to understand that it is selfish to leave home for ones pleasure. Some people such as Deng leave home because of unselfish reasons such as war which is justified. However, leaving home to find a permissive culture that supports debauchery is selfish. In essence, it is a selfish move to abandon ones culture. On the other hand, it can be argued that experiencing a different culture first-hand builds cultural competence which is critical in the modern world. However, abandoning ones culture for cultural competence is not worth the cost. Culture builds identity and identity is important for an individual to put the world in perspective.
Deng Thiak Adut [Published: Sydney Morning Herald, November 13, 2016
Hendrie, D 2016, The secret lives of international students, The Good Weekend Magazine, 27
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Mungoshi, Charles. The Setting Sun and the Rolling World: Selected Stories. Beacon P, 2001.
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