Why Has Cultural Awareness Become Crucial?

Cultural awareness is often used for political purposes, by people who distort its meaning for their own cause. It can be a vague concept, but looking beyond divisive agendas can help understand what it means and why it’s important.

This piece aims to explore the purpose of cultural awareness and why it has become necessary in today’s society. Through interviews conducted with experts from different countries and areas of expertise, this piece brings a variety of perspectives and ideas about cultural awareness.

Why is it Important to be Culturally Aware?

One of the most important reasons for cultural awareness is that it is necessary for people from different parts of the world to co-exist peacefully.

The International Organization for Migration says that in 2020, 281 million people emigrated to a different country than the one they were born in.

Emigration is a big part of the world’s history. Many people have moved to other countries, looking for a better life or in some cases, new adventures. One of the consequences is the emergence of multiple cultures blending in together.

In this context, being culturally aware is important for creating links and understanding people. But it is also important to guarantee peace.

People Are Culture conducted a survey on LinkedIn on Feb. 22, where 92% of the participants think that greater cultural awareness would help decrease wars and conflicts.

According to the United Nations, “three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension.”

The majority of countries affected by these conflicts are also suffering from little dialogue between different cultures. This contributes to reinforce misunderstandings between people and encourage hatred.

This phenomenon has happened in every country at some point in their history. And, even though progress has been made, news reports show that there is still a lot to do in every country. There are still many conflicts and misunderstandings when it comes to dealing with a culture that is different from ours.

For Jami Lebowitz, the associate director at East Carolina University Global Affairs, cultural awareness can contribute to improve relationships between one another.

Portrait of Jami Leibowitz, associate director at East Carolina University Global Affairs
Portrait of Jami Leibowitz./ courtesy of Jami Leibowitz

“Being able to understand and apply cultural awareness forms the basis for building other cultural competencies that enable people to be effective and constructive global citizens.” she said.

The capacity to look at other’s culture and how it shapes their point of view is essential to avoid misunderstandings. It’s also important to foster intercultural exchanges and kindness.

Cultural Awareness, a Tool for Tolerance

Carla Roger is the director and founder of Evolve Communities — a learning platform from Australia — that offers cultural competencies training. She believes cultural awareness is important because it allows people to become more open-minded.

“When people become culturally aware, they become aware of their cultural bias, and they become more open to different perspectives and compassionate to the disadvantages faced by those who sit outside of the “cultural norm,” Roger said.

Being aware of the differences that other people have is a good thing and contributes to the creation of a strong community and developing interaction between multi-cultural people.

Mohamed Amer, an Egyptian heritage management expert, has created HeritageForAll, a global platform for young museum management and conservation professionals with 10,000 members worldwide.

Portrait of Mohamed Amer, an Egyptian heritage management expert
Portrait of Mohamed Amer./ Photo courtesy of Mohamed.

Cultural awareness is an important part of the mission he’s trying to fulfill. To him, being knowledgeable about others and their uniqueness “contributes to emancipating the level of community engagement to inculcate authentic values and knowledge.”

By being culturally aware, people can increase their “level of respect towards various traditional cultures, religions, languages, costumes and social practices,” he said.

This mutual respect is an important component to improve tolerance and relationships.

Why Should you Care about Cultural Awareness?

Cultural awareness has different meanings depending on different situations. Sometimes, people’s culture is not visibly apparent. And not understanding that could be a mistake.

“No matter if you stay in a small town, move to the big city, or choose to live abroad, you will encounter people who are different from you,” said Leibowitz. “So being able to understand and ultimately engage in appropriate ways with people from different cultural backgrounds is invaluable.”

Everyone is unique and might not feel the same about how their culture is perceived and understood by society. Understanding another culture is more complex than it looks.

A group of people taking a picture together
A group of people taking a picture together. / Photo by Gyan Shahane, Unsplash

In a People Are Culture LinkedIn survey conducted on Feb. 2, 100% of participants said they encountered situations where they felt their culture was misunderstood in their professional environment.

This is fueled by the many clichés promoted through movies and history. Although cultural awareness seems easy to define, there are many nuances to its definition, depending on people’s experiences.

Cultural Awareness, Learning how to Comprehend Different Social Classes

Cultural awareness is an important concept because it reveals other deeper issues of society such as the gap between wealthy and poor people.

For Ngonidzashe Makwindi, a Senior Lecturer, Cultural and Heritage Tourism expert from Lesotho, wealthy tourists have a strong impact on poor people’s culture. For many, wealth is associated with culture and lifestyle, making dominant culture a goal to attain.

Cultures which historically have been exercising domination on others, though colonization for instance, is what Makwindi refers to as “dominant culture.”

Portrait of Ngonidzashe Makwindi, Senior Lecturer, Cultural and Heritage Tourism expert
Portrait of Ngonidzashe Makwindi./ Photo courtesy of Ngonidzashe Makwindi

“Because of that gap between poverty and affluence, the poor people think that whatever this foreigner is doing is good, because that foreigner is affluent,” he said. “So they copy the culture of the rich consciously and unconsciously.”

Photo of a woman sweeping the floor
Photo of a woman sweeping the floor. / Photo by Shihab Hossain, Unsplash

According to Makwindi, cultural awareness can be used as a tool for people from wealthier social classes to understand the impact they have on poorer populations and their culture.

Cultural awareness is the idea of trying to understand others’ culture, but also being conscious of your differences and how they can affect others negatively.

Being culturally aware means being able to accept that people are different from yourself. But there are different meanings as well.

For Leibowitz, cultural awareness is “being able to understand that the environment in which someone is raised and the people who have influenced them impact how they view and subsequently act in the world.”

Despite a Hyper-interconnected World, Cultural Awareness is not Intuitive

Cultural awareness can be associated with open-mindedness, but it’s a concept that goes beyond that. Being culturally aware is not always a practice that feels normal because we sometimes don’t understand the other culture.

The inability to understand other cultures pushes people to stay comfortable in their personal space, which is a phenomenon that is largely emphasized by the media.

Jesús Martín González, an anthropologist from Spain, explains the role social media and AI are playing in keeping people within their own community and culture instead of opening them to others. The Western culture also plays a role by strongly imposing its culture  through globalization.

 Jesús Martín González, anthropologist
Portrait of Jesús Martín González./ Photo courtesy of Jesús Martín González

“We are losing some cultural awareness because we are just in the big bubble because of the Western hegemony,” he said.

Hegemony is a term that signifies the domination of a culture on other cultures because of their wealth and their impact in other countries.

The consequence of this domination is the creation of isolated groups that share the same idea and which are often misinterpreting other cultures. This situation is one of the reasons why society is still strongly divided, and there is awkwardness about the concept of cultural awareness.

González explains this notion of “bubble,” in which people are stuck. They are not culturally aware because the media pushes them to consume the same type of content. This causes people to deal with similar people and not groups that are different from them.

But this fact also depends on the context that people face at a certain moment. Martín González takes the example of the city of New York. This place is one of the first cities we think about when it comes to the idea of a melting pot.

Yet, New Yorkers might not be as culturally aware of all the differences that surround them because they are used to them and they don’t pay attention to it anymore. While a tourist might find this presence of different cultures striking and visible.

These different contexts show that cultural awareness is not always intuitive and that habits and indifference can make people unaware of differences without realizing it.

Cultural awareness is a concept that pushes people to simply reconnect to each other and look beyond differences. To be able to do that, people need to look at what surrounds them and slow down.

Martín González says that people’s awareness of the diversity that surrounds them mostly stops with your personal culture. But when people face differences, an internal conflict starts.

This reality has been expressed in a People Are Culture LinkedIn survey conducted on Feb. 7, in which 58% of participants said they had an experience where they felt insecure about not understanding someone else’s culture.

Understanding Cultural Awareness with a Metaphor

Through his researches, González came across an analogy that defines cultural awareness. This concept uses water as a metaphor of the cultural environment in which you grow up within your home country.

“We are in the western culture, so this is our water,” he said. “Because of this water, we are always thinking that our culture is the only one.”

To emphasize the metaphor, he compared a regular fish and a flying fish. This example comes from a speech performed by David Foster Wallace.

González resumes this speech by explaining that the flying fish is culturally aware because he gets to leave his water by flying in the air. The other fish is stuck in his water only.

Being stuck is a metaphor for not being culturally aware, and thinking that what you know is the only valuable culture. The reality is more complex, and all cultures have their value and perspective to bring to life.

For González, challenging your own perspective by looking at other cultures is what makes people more culturally aware.

“In my case, I told you that traveling is something about leaving the ego open,” he said. “Traveling, talking with other people, it’s not disconnect from them, it’s connect. But for connecting you need curiosity, empathy.”

A photo of a street in Romania
A photo of a street in Romania. / Photo by Haseeb Jamil, Unsplash

Cultural Awareness is Important for Workspace, Colleges and Society

Knowing how to effectively interact with people is an essential component for communication and learning. You can learn from others’ professional and personal experiences, their thoughts and opinions, or simply the way they shape themselves.

Sofia Del Prete, an Italian digital archeologist at Mare Group explains that this kind of constant learning from others helps people to be more compassionate. Being culturally aware can be an eye-opener on the impact the people you meet have on you.

Portrait of Sofia Del Prete, digital archeologist at Mare Group
Portrait of Sofia Del Prete./ Photo courtesy of Sofia Del Prete

She observes that meeting people who are different from us has repercussions on the way we look at things, and how we perceive others.

“We grow up assimilating information from the world around us; this is as true now as it was in ancient times. Our gestures, our very own minds, are molded by our cultural context,” she said.

This assimilation of information can be difficult nowadays, because its flow is infinite. It is reinforced by globalization and the numerous social media platforms.

“Nowadays, cultural awareness is becoming increasingly important, especially in the workplace,” said Del Prete. “It is an incredible asset for colleagues working in a multicultural environment, and even more precious when dealing with international clients.”

Del Prete explains that for archeologists, cultural awareness is necessary when it comes to relationships with a community. An example of that is when archeologists discover human remains or sacred objects during excavation.

“This will certainly have a strong cultural impact on the surrounding population,” she said. “We archaeologists must take all this into account and respect the finds as a member of the same community would.”

“At that moment we are handling their history, their culture. Even in virtual reconstructions of an archaeological site or monument, we must take into account its cultural value and what it represents for people,” said Del Prete.

Improving Communication with Cultural Awareness

Amir Ghannad is the founder of The Ghannad Group, a consulting firm whose mission is to help businesses to develop their cultural competencies. The goal of his company is to help businesses to develop their understanding of other cultures and to learn how to respond to these differences.

The enactment of cultural awareness is necessary to improve communication and how to understand people that surround us.

Portrait of Amir Ghannad, founder of The Ghannad Group
Portrait of Amir Ghannad./ Photo courtesy of Amir Ghannad.

“The initiation of cultural awareness hinges upon the acknowledgment of the diverse spectrum of thoughts, emotions, and expressions within individuals,” he said. “Without this recognition, interactions tend to be governed by personal preferences rather than attuned to the nuanced needs of others, fostering misinterpretations rooted in individual experiences.”

In a People Are Culture LinkedIn survey conducted on Jan. 31, 100% percent of the 33 respondents said that cultural awareness was important in a professional context.

Cultural awareness is also understanding that we integrate some cultural elements of different countries to our own culture. Because the world is multi-connected, people are soaking up many customs they learned by exchanging with people from different countries and traveling.

“Because of globalization and the opening of world markets, we not only meet different cultures but also integrate some of their characteristics, expanding and erasing our social and cultural boundaries,” said Del Prete.

Aunty Munya Andrews is the other director of Evolve Communities, a website where people can take cultural competencies training. Their training focuses on creating cultural safety and inclusivity. Through their programs, they look at the impacts of colonialism, cultural biases, and privileges.

Carla Roger on the left and Aunty Munya Andrews, founders of Evolve Community
Carla Roger on the left and Aunty Munya Andrews./ courtesy of Evolve Communities

Evolve Communities defines cultural safety as “a space where everyone can recognise their own cultural biases and be open-minded about the differences in other’s beliefs and practices.”

“We invite people to go beyond becoming culturally aware and develop cultural appreciation and a commitment to ensuring the spaces they live and work in embrace cultural differences and support everyone to thrive,” said Andrews.

But What is Culture?

The concept of cultural awareness was born between 1960 and 1970. It’s the idea that each country, region, town, or even family develops their own culture. Because of that, people’s cultures throughout the world are different, and it can be hard to understand others.

That means there are many definitions of culture.

For Makwindi, language is what creates a culture. And culture is mainly transmitted from the parents to a child through the mother tongue.

According to Makwindi, culture isn’t something you really chose, it’s a tool to be assimilated in the society you live in. But you can make the choice to learn about other cultures, and include some elements in your own culture.

When you meet people, you soak up part of their culture and their differences. Makwind called this phenomenon “acculturation,” and it is a first step to cultural awareness. Through this process, people build their identity.

But sometimes, acculturation tends to erase the fundamentals of cultural awareness by pushing people to forget about their native culture.

Map of the Global South
Map of the Global South as seen by many politicians. / Photo by Guglielmo Picchi, LinkedIn

Cultural Awareness is Knowing your Own Culture

“The negative impact is that some people end up abandoning their culture and adopting other cultures,” said Makwindi. “And it erodes that diversity of culture, which I think is very beautiful. Once that diversity disappears, then, it means identities also disappear, and there’s no longer that beauty of cultural diversity.”

For Makwindi, this negative impact is the result of the domination of some cultures above others, and how they are implemented in the school systems, especially in the Global South.

The Global South refers to countries which have a lower economic and industrial development. The term Global South is associated with the notion of colonialism because during this period, invaders were making profit from resources that didn’t belong to them, and tried to implement their own culture to the natives.

Cultural awareness is a way to recognize the value of other cultures and erase the idea that some cultures are superior to others.

“Once you are made aware of your own culture, you begin to see the differences among cultures and most importantly the beauty in diversity of cultures,” said Makwindi. “You begin to respect the intrinsic values of others and realise that all cultures are equally uniquely beautiful.”

Cultural Awareness, a Concept Constantly Present in Marketing

Globalization through migration, internet, and commerce  means that everyone is constantly exposed to products from different cultures or from different countries. This is visible through clothing, food, art, music and even extracurricular activities. However, we rarely think about the story of these goods that we are consuming.

Guillaume Drew is the founder of Or & Zon, an online company that focuses on global artisan craftsmanship and sustainable luxury. He says that when looking for products, direct engagement with artisans worldwide is necessary to him to demonstrate respect for the culture he is taking from, but also to show regard for the human beings who share their skills with him.

Portrait of Guillaume Drew, founder of Or & Zon
Portrait of Guillaume Drew./ Photo courtesy of Guillaume Drew

“When we collaborate with artisans from various parts of the world, it’s imperative to understand the context in which they work—their local traditions, their creative processes, and the social norms that guide their craft,” he said.

Not being aware can have bad consequences either mentally or simply on your business.

“This awareness matters significantly because it fosters mutual respect, enhances cross-cultural communication, and paves the way for inclusive, global collaboration,” said Drew.

According to Drew, cultural awareness is an “understanding and appreciation of diverse cultural perspectives and practices,” but it’s also the ability to recognize and respect what shapes other individuals and communities throughout the world.

“By integrating cultural appreciation into our business model, we’ve seen firsthand how it strengthens relationships with partners and resonates deeply with our customers, proving that empathy and understanding are paramount in today’s interconnected world,” said Drew.

Commerce, an Ancient Path Leading to Cultural Awareness

Intercultural trade is not news or specific to our globalized world. Trading between different countries and cultures has existed for centuries. This commerce sometimes had a negative impact when they imposed colonized systems.

But they are also showing that many people naturally have an attraction for what’s different, pushing many to embrace different cultures through selling merchandise.

“Merchants used their understanding and knowledge of the costumes and traditions of a country to their advantage,” said Del Prete, the Italian archaeologist. “Once they returned to their home country, they brought back what they learned, weaving into the fabric of their society.”

The production of goods and its sale is not always negative, and has some positive effects when it comes to cultural awareness. It is also a way for people to meet and learn from each other.

“Because of globalization and the opening of world markets, we not only meet different cultures but also integrate some of their characteristics, expanding and erasing our social and cultural boundaries,” said Del Prete.

Photo of a map surrounded by currency from different countries
Photo of a map surrounded by currency from different countries. / Photo by Christine Roy, Unsplash

Being culturally aware is also realizing that behind what we consume, there are people putting hard work into their products and services, but they are also sharing a bit of themselves. When people are aware of that, they can better realize the uniqueness of what they bought, and look at it from a different perspective.

For Drew of Or & Zon, many more consumers are attracted by the story and the authenticity behind the product they buy and it is the consequence of people being more aware of other cultures and differences.

“In a world that’s becoming more homogenized by globalization, there is a growing desire to preserve and engage with the rich diversity of cultural expressions,” he said. “This trend is evident in the consumer’s preference for items that embody tradition, craftsmanship, and a human touch.”

Cultural awareness is a tool that improves relationships

Priyanka Swamy is the founder of Perfect Locks Hair, a U.S based company that specializes in human hair extensions. Cultural awareness is deeper than just a tool for her business.

Portrait of Priyanka Swamy, founder of Perfect Locks Hair
Portrait of Priyanka Swamy./ Courtesy of Priyanka Swamy

With her company, Swamy has to deal with women from different cultures all the time. And the objective is always the same: pleasing them and giving them confidence, no matter the country her clients are from, or their personal culture.

“Cultural awareness is important for several reasons. First, it promotes inclusiveness and diversity. It creates a space where everyone feels respected and accepted, she said. “We can look at the world from various points of view, which is essential in maintaining harmony and understanding in today’s interdependent world.”

According to her, companies like Perfect Locks, which adopt cultural diversity, open up new markets and can respond to the demand of a more diverse customer base. To her, this diversity favors the development of more kindness and relationships despite differences.

“Cultural awareness encourages empathy and connecting with others, whether they are customers, suppliers, or employees,” she said.

For Swamy, cultural awareness is central to her company.

“From sourcing hair from ethical Indian temples to meeting the needs of our diverse clientele, our mission is not just to sell hair extensions; it’s to celebrate the beauty and culture of all cultures worldwide,” she said.

Developing Cultural Awareness Through Traveling

Embracing the concept of cultural awareness is not only beneficial within your own country. It’s also useful when it comes to traveling.

People have different reasons for traveling whether it is for beautiful landscapes, discovering a new culture, or just a change of scenery.

Cultural awareness is not only a tool to respect other cultures and try to understand them. It’s also about adopting a cultural lifestyle when traveling.

Joan Motsinger, a veteran traveler, worked for a multinational technology company located in both the US and Ireland, but also other countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, or China. While working for this company, she traveled the world for ten years.

Portrait of Joan Motsinger, veteran traveler
Portrait of Joan Motsinger./ Photo courtesy of Joan Motsinger.

She defines cultural awareness as “ to seek to listen, understand and embrace the communities without mandating change.”

As a foreigner going to other countries for professional reasons, she learned that respecting other cultures and being aware of their differences is key to establishing a peaceful relationship with others.

Throughout her experience, she learned the importance of cultural awareness, through moments where she was unaware and did not act properly.

Motsinger explains that one day, she put her feet up in front of her boss who was Thaï. In Thaïland, putting your feet high is not proper behavior because they are dirty. However, it’s even worse to do so in front of someone, because it means that you wish them bad luck. This is something she did not know at the time.

“Unfortunately, I think many of us have to learn it by making mistakes the first time and then you’re willing to embrace that awareness,” said Motsinger.

She emphasized that when coming to other countries for professional reasons, there’s a limit to how business can act in a country. Being culturally aware is necessary to not overstep the boundaries of domination.

To her, one of the risks when leaders move to other countries is that “they want to bring their biases, their beliefs and all of that, of what I would call a ‘first world country’ to these other places,” she said. “And the reality is, they have their cultures, their values, their religions and their families, and it’s not our right really, to spoil the market or spoil the culture.”

To her, foreign businesses should only be a tool for economic growth and exchanges, not domination.

“We are bringing them the opportunity for economic prosperity, but that doesn’t mean that we can always bring our values forward,” said Motsinger. “We’re not here to change them, but we are here to work in the communities and make the communities better.”

Picture of someone traveling
Picture of someone traveling. / Photo by Steven Lewis, Unsplash

When traveling cultural awareness is necessary from both sides, the host and the travelers. Coming to a country where customs and traditions are different can be hard to accommodate, but trying is part of being culturally aware.

According to Motsinger, cultural awareness is a relationship between a host country and a visitor. For her, host countries should understand that visitors may have a different culture than theirs. But she is also convinced that the major work relies on the visitors.

“I think whenever you’re in someone’s home, […] you should be aware of what their values are,” she said.

Her experiences have pushed her to be firmly convinced that cultural awareness is essential for people to develop feelings of kindness and altruism.

“I think the more you’re aware, and the more you have empathy, and the more you’re educated, you get a much better experience out of it,” she said. “You get a lot more joy, and the full person becomes much more present because you’re all very aware and wanting to do the best for each other.”

ultural Awareness, Learning with Different Educational Tools

However, for cultural awareness to have an impact on these issues, education is key.

For Motsinger, this education is performed through “voracious reading and voracious learning,” she said. “I think willingness to perceive and not judge, to listen and not talk and just allow others to share their experiences.”

Being culturally aware is not just respecting other cultures. It’s the ability to listen to others and take in consideration their perspectives.  There are many ways to improve your personal awareness towards cultural diversity.

In another poll published on Feb. 20, 96% of  the respondents said that they think cultural awareness should be taught in schools.

“It’s just your willingness to be open in your eyes, your ears, your mouth and your soul to comprehend all of that,” she said. “And I think often that comes with education.”

Cultivating Cultural Awareness Through Arts to Reconnect with our Surroundings.

For some people like Viktor Lindback, cultural awareness goes beyond humans. It’s also a way to embrace what surrounds us and take a deeper look at nature.

Portrait of Viktor Lindbäck, work at the Swedish National Heritage Board
Portrait of Viktor Lindbäck./ Photo courtesy of Viktor Lindbäck

Nature is an important component for many cultures. Being aware of similarities and differences in cultures can help to understand others better.

Cultural awareness is an important component of his daily life through his work at the Swedish National Heritage Board.

To him, cultural awareness can also be expressed through art and connecting to nature. Lindbäck practices digital fractal geometry as a way to reconnect with local culture, nature and his own culture.

Digital fractal art creates geometric designs that repeat a pattern. In nature, patterns are something that is commonly found in plants. Lindbäck uses his art to express his link with nature, and publishes it on a personal website.

“By watching, interpreting and working with fractal geometry, I feel a strong connection to the land and its inhabitants – past and present, human as well as non-human,” he said.

Being culturally aware is not only  being able to understand and accept differences. It’s also about taking a look at the nuances of your own culture.

“Cultural awareness for me, is to be aware of the subtle aspects of my immediate surroundings and their multiple layers of accumulated time and human experiences,” said Lindbäck.

Can Cultural Awareness Bring Peace to the World? How?

Not only does culture influence the way people think and what they want, it also shapes how they interact with each other. Incomprehension is often one of the factors that can lead to hate.

Many fear differences and the unknown. But diversity is needed and can favor peace.

For Lucia Iglesias, a UNESCO press officer, cultural awareness is a way to cultivate peace. It allows people to listen to each other and open up to a bigger vision of the world, than if they are not aware.

She points out that when a conflict starts, the invader often wants to erase the culture of a place to impose their own. Cultural sites, monuments, and practices are regularly the first things that are destroyed.

Building peace is not only a matter of war and fights. It’s also a matter of education, and that’s what UNESCO is all about.

“The motto of the U.N.’s constitution is to build peace in the minds of men and women,” said Iglesias. “It means that, through culture, science and communication and information, we can change the people’s mentality to be peaceful instead of violent.”

Iglesias notes that culture is an essential component to create peace, because it promotes mutual respect and understanding. Cultural awareness is a useful tool when it comes to diplomacy. It helps to establish a soft power, and push people to solve conflicts through exchanges instead of violence.

Button for peace
Button for peace./ Photo by Bekky Bekks, Unsplash.

To Conclude on Cultural Awareness…

A graffiti in Lima, Peru
A graffiti in Lima, Peru./ Photo by Miles Peacock, Unsplash.

Many of the experts emphasized the fact that understanding a different culture than your own isn’t easy. Teaching cultural awareness within schools or workspaces is essential as these are the places where you most likely need to be aware.

Building a more peaceful world requires a mutual acceptance of others and their differences. To be able to accept, the first step is to be educated. And it’s not only about school education, but societal education.

Learning through family, friends, strangers, media. There are many platforms and places that allow people to connect to each other and open up to the world.

Exploring these resources and becoming culturally aware can greatly improve the world and stimulate the creation of a society where differences are a strength and not a burden.

Cultural awareness should not be seen as a constraint. It’s about evolving for others and for yourself. It’s about constantly learning and discovering.

“Cultural awareness should be an opportunity to add something to our cultural heritage, something that, unbeknownst to us, was already part of our history and our cultural past,” said Del Prete, the Italian archeologist.

Maybe cultural awareness is about waking up the inner child in you, that looks at others as friends more than an opponent.

Tips to Being Culturally Aware

Sofia Del Prete: “For me people should think more about their own history. They should think about what their family members and grandparents have passed on to them. All this together with their own experience will be passed on to their children and their children’s children joining the world culture. We are our past and with that we build our future.”

Amir Ghannad: “A sure sign that you could improve your cultural awareness is that you often find yourself frustrated with how other people behave or operate. This could be limited to people who are visibly different than you (i.e. race, gender, age, …) or people who simply have a different background than you. The best thing to do if this happens to you is to simply talk to those people and seek to understand them. Assume positive intent and do not approach them to try to prove them wrong or to change them but simply to understand. I believe practicing this will result in significant shifts in one’s cultural awareness.”

Guillaume Drew: “A practical tip for improving cultural awareness is to actively engage with different cultures through experiences such as travel, cuisine, language learning, and the arts. As the founder of Or & Zon, I’ve found that direct interaction with artisans and immersing myself in their cultural contexts have been invaluable. I recommend that people cultivate curiosity and open-mindedness, seek out opportunities to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds, and listen to their stories. By creating space for diverse voices and perspectives in our daily lives, we can build a deeper understanding of the rich tapestry of human experience and learn to appreciate the nuances of different cultures. This approach not only enriches our personal lives but also enhances our professional interactions, making us more empathetic and effective communicators in a globalized world.”

Joan Motsinger: “Seek to listen and learn from each of your interactions while not judging based on your own experiences. Take the culture class, as respect is often noted through the nuances of actions. Do not assume. Rather ascend yourself and give respect.”

Mohamed Amer: “From my overview, while cultural heritage is a common good for all humanity, cultural awareness might be a part of heritage marketing techniques recognizing the requirements of various target segmentations geographically (local visitors, short-distance visitors, long-distance visitors, and international visitors); demographically (age, sex, family size, family income, education, occupation, religion, race, and ethnicity); psycho-graphically (social class, lifestyle, and personality characteristics), socio-economically and socio-culturally.)”

A visual look at Data from the LinkedIn poll

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