Cultural awareness or cultural sensitivity refers to the idea of being aware of your own cultural background as well as others. It is nearly impossible to learn about all the cultures present in this world but it is necessary to gain some helpful knowledge if we ever visit a particular country. This can go on to avoid a lot of conflicts and misunderstandings. You will never want to send out the wrong vibes to anyone, so being informed can prevent all of this from happening.
When we learn or are exposed to some new information regarding any culture, it should not be considered as a division or barrier. It should be looked at in a positive way, believing that everyone has their own cultural beliefs and no culture is above any other culture. Feeling of judgment should be absent, rather there should be a willingness to learn when you are likely to experience cultural differences.
Cultural sensitivity should be kept in mind even when you are at home or in a workplace. In your offices or workplace, you will interact with a lot of people who have grounds or origins of cultures that are completely different from your own. You will never want to sound insensitive and create an awkward environment for work. Everyone has some pre-conceived notions or stereotypes but cultivating cultural sensitivity is basically removing them from one’s minds.
Travelling to other countries also does a bit in making people aware of the differences present and how these differences should be acknowledged and appreciated. It is an effective communication key. This also involves body gestures. Some responses may be considered rude in some countries whereas appreciated elsewhere. If misinterpreted, it can spoil budding relationships, both personal and professional. Hence, it is always safe to do one’s homework.
The first step in developing cultural awareness is to keep an open mind accompanied with a desire to learn and adapt. One should be observant about what basic social clues are acceptable and unacceptable. It is also okay to raise questions and seek answers about what may confuse you regarding certain cultural beliefs.
Cultural diversity should always be viewed as an advantage because you get to learn a lot about each other which not only creates a positive mindset but also one of brotherhood.
Active discussions have been going about this issue recently as every one has started becoming more aware. Provided people also have a lot of information on the internet to educate themselves regarding any topic, all they basically need is to have a willingness for it. There is a higher chance that the future generation will consists of global citizens being more culturally sensitive, aware, and understanding in their interactions with others.