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.
You can understand the world better.
You can prevent and overcome racial and ethnic division.
You can minimize stereotypes.
You can enhance your communication.
You can learn new experiences.
Why Should You Communicate with People from Different Cultures?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.