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5 Benefits of Understanding Different Cultures | Meeting New People

5 Benefits of Understanding Different Cultures | Meeting New People
Why do we need to understand and respect other cultures? What is the importance of cultural diversity? Where can you meet people from different cultural backgrounds? Today, several countries around the world enjoy a multicultural environment. With more than 190 countries and 7 billion people worldwide, it is not hard to imagine cultural diversity. In the United States, their cultural landscape is shaped by Latin American, African, Asian, Polynesian, and Middle Eastern countries. The different cultures have contributed distinct flavors to the beauty of their country. Cultural diversity is all about merging different cultures. You accept and respect their beliefs and introduce your culture to others. This diversity influences our behavior, as well as our identity. It also allows us to recognize and integrate with other cultures. It is worth noting that we, as individuals, should treat each other with respect regardless of where we came from. This way, we can create a better environment for our family where we can all thrive. We have to avoid discriminating against other people because of their beliefs or lifestyle. Instead, let’s start to think about the positive things that different cultures can bring to enrich our lives. Being open from cultural diversity can help you be friends with people who came from different ethnicity and race.

5 Benefits of Understanding Different Cultures Meeting New People 1

What Are the Benefits of Learning About Different Cultures?

Learning about people from different places can play a significant role in nourishing your relationship with others. It also develops a healthy community and enhances problem-solving situations. We all know that human beings are diverse in many ways. We have different lifestyles, religions, gender, race, and nationality. Despite those differences, we are all humans who feel pain and joy. Thanks to the advanced innovations of technology, we can quickly learn about the uniqueness of each culture and stop humankind’s discrimination. For those who want to learn more about other cultures, this is a great place to start. So, what are the benefits of learning about different cultures? Let’s discuss further.
  1. You can understand the world better.

Being exposed to diverse cultures can help you appreciate more in life. The more you interact with people from different cultures, the more you value and respect them. Attending social groups is an excellent way of exposing yourself to diverse cultures and practices. Whether you will interact with people from different regions or countries, you will learn something new during the event. When you join the social gathering with other cultures, you can see why other people do things the way they do. You can easily understand and develop sympathy with others. When you learn about cultural diversity, you can also learn more about geography, religion, and history.
  1. You can prevent and overcome racial and ethnic division.

When people have ethnic and racial division, it can hurt society. For example, if there is a racial division in your community, it could lead to misunderstandings, lack of opportunities, and even violence. People will suffer from both financial and human resources. Employment discrimination has been known for years. Employers have disparate treatment among employees from a different culture. If everyone understands cultural diversity, we can eliminate this kind of racism in any workplace. Nowadays, employers manifest racism in their workplace through microaggressions. It is an indirect or subtle way of discriminating against a particular group. If we want to prevent this racial division, we have to educate ourselves and treat each other equally. We can write anti-discrimination and domestic violence policies to set stands of behavior among employees. Team-building sessions also work effectively. This way, employees can get to know each other and build a positive and equal working environment.
  1. You can minimize stereotypes.

When we value all cultures, we will less likely classify other people depending on stereotypes. Everyone is unique, but it should not be used as a reason to treat them differently in a community. It may be reasonable to categorize things and events, but when you do it for people, it can lead to massive problems and misunderstandings. When you do not have enough idea about cultural diversity, you might judge a particular person negatively based on who he is and what he can contribute at work. For example, when your manager sees your Asian workmate as smart and good with numbers but not with people, he might never allow him to develop his people skills. When this situation continues to happen, it can lead to low productivity and unsatisfied customers. This example of stereotype hinders communication and teamwork.
  1. You can enhance your communication.

Language may be a critical part of our communication, but it can be overcome with other ways of speaking. Some countries do not understand English. However, there are some different ways to communicate with them, including figurative language, presentation, and Google translate. You can also learn their language if you have the chance to talk to them every day. Studies have shown that learning a foreign language has positive benefits for our minds. First, it improves our memory. A study found that a bilingual person performs better than a monolingual one. They tend to have better working memory that deals with processing and storing information in a short period. Second, it can increase your attention span. According to a study from the Brain and Language Journal, speaking a foreign language can help your mind to focus and deal with distractions appropriately. It can help your brain to concentrate more in-depth on your tasks and disregard and noises around. When you are open to meeting people from different cultures, you can have the chance to open many doors, broaden your communication, and have a deeper understanding of other countries. Additionally, you will also see the world from their cultural point-of-view.
  1. You can learn new experiences.

5 Benefits of Understanding Different Cultures Meeting New People 2 The most fun part of opening ourselves to multi-culture is making new friends. We can meet people from different backgrounds with different perspectives. Plus, we can also learn valuable stories and lessons from each other. What makes it more interesting is that we can appreciate our own culture from a different perspective. It is truly one of the life-changing experiences. If you are open to multicultural experiences, you can have more abilities to solve problems in multiple ways. Plus, you can also increase your awareness of your social connections and associations. Furthermore, exposure to multi-culture also leads to enhanced creativity and memorable experiences. We can have the chance to try new food, learn new traditions, take a trip to historical places that are out of your comfort zone. If you are open to multi-culture, you can experience a whole new world!

Why Should You Communicate with People from Different Cultures?

5 Benefits of Understanding Different Cultures Meeting New People 3   Another benefit of healthy cross-cultural communication is it enhances your trust and credibility. You will become more vocal about your beliefs and culture. Plus, you will be able to handle long-distance relationships well.What are the benefits of communicating with other people? Truth to be told, interacting with people from different countries has an essential role in developing a healthy personal life. If you know how to communicate effectively with them, you can enjoy healthy relationships and better productivity in life. Furthermore, being exposed to other cultures can enhance your verbal fluency, intelligence, and awareness. When you always communicate with people from different cultures, you can focus more on keeping your relationship strong and healthy. It can also help you resolve problems quickly and manage stress and distractions. Other reasons why you must meet people from different cultures:
  • They are interesting
  • It promotes understanding
  • You can cope with the ever-changing world
  • You can learn new ways of doing things

12 Lessons and Etiquette Rules from Around the World

MIDDLE EAST: Do not shake with your left hand.

Shaking with your left hand can be an insult in the Middle East. As for their culture, the hands have specific functions. They believe that the right hand is used for eating while the left hand is reserved for washing after using the bathroom. Knowing this, you must keep in mind that you must not offer your left hand in shaking even though it is clean. You must always use your right hand. But if you are left-handed, make sure to use your left hand for eating and do not use your right hand for shaking hands.

GHANA: You invite, you pay.

When you are in Ghana, be careful in inviting people for drinks or meals. If you asked your friends to have dinner with you, make sure to bring plenty of money to cover it. When you asked them to have dinner, you are saying, “I’m buying dinner for everyone, tonight’s on me!” If you do not pay for everything, you are considered rude and disrespectful. You will end up losing some friends over it.

FRANCE: Avoid bringing wine to a dinner.

Bringing wine to a party is considered good manners in any place except in France. Being the home of authentic wine, French people take pride in their wine selection. If you bring one to a party, you are implying that the wine they offer is not good enough. French parties do not need their guests to bring wine. Instead, you can bring fresh flowers (any color except yellow since it symbolizes an unfaithful partner) or sweets.

ITALY: No cappuccino after a meal.

This etiquette is one of the oldest food rules in Italy. Italians are convinced that drinking beverages with milk can mess up a stomach’s ability to digest food properly. To sip your cappuccino in the afternoon or evening is a significant violation of the Italian Food Rule. Italians might suspect your behavior if you order a cappuccino after 10:00 AM. Therefore, if you love drinking cappuccino after lunch or dinner, you have to set it aside once you visit Italy. However, you can still drink your milky coffee during breakfast since it goes well with Italian pastries.

SOUTH AMERICA: Always say “Ma’am”.

Saying “Ma’am” and “Sir” have become a tradition in the Southern of the United States for the past centuries. However, it was initially inherited from the 18th century of England. The terms “Ma’am” and “Sir” are forms of politeness and signs of good manners. Traditionally, people from South America will address you with “Ma’am” or “Sir” to show respect. These people are known for their politeness and kindness to everyone in South America. They even hold doors open for each other. Some people will also suffer from embarrassment when they did not keep the door open for you. This South American tradition is sure to brighten up your day whether you are staying in the area for a short or long time.

VENEZUELA: Be late, be polite.

Most people consider late as selfish and rude. Some of them will also feel like you are wasting their time. Most of us try to arrive at our destination as early as possible, but you should avoid that behavior when you are in Venezuela. If you arrive early or on-time, you will look rude, greedy, or too eager. Arriving on-time is disrespectful for their people since not all citizens have cars or access to public transportation. Therefore, you must plan to arrive at least 15 to 20 minutes after the scheduled start of the event. But this etiquette is not applicable for concerts and funerals. You must arrive on time during these situations.

JAPAN: Do not fill your own glass.

This rule is one of the essential etiquettes in Japan. In most countries, you have to pour your own drink when you are thirsty. But in Japan, it is considered disrespectful, narcissistic, greedy, and even anti-social. You will look rude and selfish after pouring beer, wine, or water on your own glass. Instead, you have to pour the drink on other people’s glasses first. After that, others who seated close to you will refill your glass from their bottle. You can only drink after your entire group received their drinks and offered a “kanpai.”

ARAB CULTURE: Do not show the sole of your shoe.

If you are planning to visit an Arabian area this year, you must be prepared with this etiquette. In Arab Culture, showing someone the sole of your shoe is rude and highly insulting. Regardless if you are sitting or reclining, it is disrespectful. We all know that shoes are dirty since it hits the ground and it is placed at the lowest part of the body. Therefore, you must avoid sitting with one leg on the other. Do not let your leg face the person beside you. It means you do not care about their culture, and you do not respect the people.

GERMANY: Do not ask personal questions.

There are several questions that German people find rude, but that does not mean they are susceptible. They just value and respect each other’s right to privacy. They are one of the most private people around the world. Do not ask anything about their salary. Asking about their earnings is disrespectful. Avoid personal subjects, especially when they are not your relatives or best friends. Do not ask them if they wear a dirndl or lederhosen every day. They will probably roll their eyes on you.

MUSLIMS: Do not shake hands with someone of the opposite sex.

You might feel confused, but Muslims are not allowed to shake hands with members of the opposite sex. It is considered offensive, sexist, and discourteous. Instead, they will put their hand upon their chest and smile at you. Muslims are not allowed to have any kind of physical contact with the opposite sex. It is against their culture. So, what will you do when you encounter Muslims? Easy. Let them lead you. Watch what kind of greeting they will do; do the same thing and smile.

GREAT BRITAIN: Always say “Cheers” on the streets.

When you visit Great Britain, you will likely hear the word “Cheers” around the city. It is the way of British people to say “Goodbye” and “Thank you.” If you are not comfortable saying “Cheers,” you can go with other polite terms. Other British behavioral tips that you also need to learn are the following:
  • Do not stare at people you don’t know
  • Do not pick your nose with your bare fingers. Use a napkin or tissue.
  • Do not spit on the streets.
You will not find it hard to reach tourist spots in Great Britain. The language is the same, so you can easily ask strangers for directions. You can also navigate bus lanes easily. However, you must remember that in this country, people drive on the opposite side of the road.

JAPAN: Slurp your noodles.

Slurping your noodles might be rude in some countries, but Japanese citizens find it enjoyable. In Japan, they believe that slurping noodles can enhance the flavor of the food and increases its fragrance. They also think that slurping the noodles can help you eat quickly before the soup start to soften and cool. Since ancient times, Japanese people believe that noodles should be eaten promptly; that is why it is considered as one of their “fast foods”.