Are You Culturally Competent?

“Personality describes qualities individuals may have, such as being outgoing or shy, internal characteristics, but identity requires some element of choice.”  The Limitations of Inferring Identity from Style. Daily Life through History. Cvitanic, Marilyn. “ABC-CLIO, 2013. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.

            Culture which includes the type of clothing we chose is an example of how we identify with a particular group and it is important that we understand this choice so that we can respect the choice of other ethnic or religious groups.   In order to do this, we must first examine our cultural views and how it relates to one’s identity.  It was humorous to read the research information about American culture in terms of clothing but it also revealed a lot about how we view other cultures.   What was most revealing in my studies of other cultures was that we live in a culture that is so diverse that we sometimes overlook some very basic things such as the various type of food, the religious practices and traditions.   This tends to desensitize us to other cultures as most people become assimilated to our culture over time.  It is different when you attend a cultural event or place such as the Indian Festival or the BuddhistTemple or even the Ethiopian Restaurant and experience first hand what it must be like for many people who have migrated to the U.S.

To me culture defines the world we live in and what we consider normal behavior for a group of people.  Culture influences ones behavior, beliefs, values, and worldview.   Culture influences day to day life from the time we get up and get dress to leave for our day, what we eat or don’t eat for breakfast and how we get to our destination.  Even our destination is dictated by culture, whether you attend school or go to a job or both.  I have been always lived in a diverse cultural environment and being in a class where many of the students are from various cultural backgrounds was a great experience and an example of how diverse our world really is.  Even though we live in the same country, our backgrounds are very different and I am aware of how it may seem when we point out the differences of any particular group.  Most of the time when someone is regarded as different, it is with a negative undertone and it contributes to division among the groups.  I am sure that there are as many people who have experienced living a multi-cultural life whether they are aware of it or not.  How have your cultural experiences contributed to the identity you chose? 

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