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Studying Culture: Becoming Culturally Conscious - Essay Example

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The present essay deals with the issue of becoming culturally conscious. Notably, the likelihood of interacting with people of different cultures from ours has increased over time because of the world becoming a small village. …
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Download file to see previous pages I shall thus embark on identifying my own culture and the influences it has had on my experiences, behaviors, and attitudes. I am a 22-year-old, heterosexual male of Arabic ethnicity, brought up by reserved parents. Their reservation arises from the fact that they uphold certain beliefs and values primarily influenced by their religion- Islam. For example, they believe that children should not be born out of wedlock; therefore, in the event of an unplanned pregnancy, the parents must get married before the child is born. Their beliefs and values have become imparted on my siblings and me but as we get older, we are slowly deviating from them and forming our own. However, as we grew up we knew that we were expected to act in a certain way and failure to do so result in certain consequences. These beliefs and values that we ascribed to were influenced by our ethnicity and religion.
My attitude towards more liberal cultures has obviously been influenced and more often than not, I find myself repelling people from such cultures. This is because my background is centered on traditional forms of a family where both parents are supposed to be present in the upbringing of a child. Conversely, this denotes that divorce is not an option when one gets into marriage. This strong value on marriage has particularly stuck with me because it was not only upheld by my parents and extended family but also within the environment, I grew up in. This refers to my neighbors, pediatrician, dentist, and teachers in the schools I attended....
ning high school, some of these values and beliefs became watered down as I made friends with people from different cultures thus upheld different values and beliefs. This, I can conclude, marked the beginning of my cross-cultural awareness. This is because I came to realize that just because I have a certain belief it is not superior to what others believe in. In addition, in life challenging circumstances arise and force us to adapt thereby, loosening/ letting go of that which we held on to so firmly. For example, I had a classmate in high school whose parents divorced because of her father’s alcoholism. The mother had to leave him as his drunken stupors caused him to be violent and wasteful of money. I can closely relate to one of the forms of communication established under the framework of Arabic culture. This is the playfully toned behavior which I can interpret as ‘tough love’ as per my background. I can acknowledge this as my mother always strived to toughen us up for the harsh world out there. This meant she never tolerated self-pity after failing at something or not attaining what one had hoped. For instance, I once decided to participate in the Annual Sports Day in middle school. I joined the swimming club and looked forward to being at least in the top three come the day of competition. Unfortunately, I came out fourth and my mother only let me pout about it that night. The following day she made it clear that she would not tolerate any more self-pity and that instead I should sit down and come up with ways of ensuring I came out on top next time. A stranger may interpret this as cold but I knew she meant well and to her this was the proper way of raising me to face the world. In addition, another concept that is evident in my culture is that of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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