High School > Social Studies > Cultures

The world we live in is full of different cultures. It isn’t only one’s own culture that is important or superior; others deserve the same kind of value and respect as well. And the first step to respecting other cultures is to understand them.

Knowing more about one culture is not a bad thing. It can actually be a good first step in being more sensitive about various cultures. Each culture has its own biases, values, and social norms, and so being aware of what those are in one’s own culture helps prevent a superiority mentality against other cultures. This is of the utmost importance, as a very common barrier to understanding other cultures is the thinking that one’s own culture is the absolute superior one among the rest.

Once students are aware of their culture’s own leanings, they can approach learning other cultures with more open minds. As big as the world is, so is the diversity of the cultures within it. Even within the same country, there are slight differences in cultures. Even the very small nuances, like which hand to use when shaking hands, can be quite significant to some people.

Cultures also are not just about social norms and values. There are more aspects to it, like art and food. Differences in cultures are most pronounced when it comes to these two things.

Art is greatly influenced by the culture of a place. For example, if the people living in one area are highly religious, their art may contain images that depict the deities they worship, or the artwork they have might be expressions of their worship to those gods.

Food, of course, is a great indicator of the kind of culture a place has. Indian food, for instance, is full of various spices, indicating that the Indian subcontinent is full of spices that people regularly use in their cuisine.

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