In learning a new language, it is not only important to know how to fluently speak and know the vocabulary and grammar, it is also equally important to know cultural sensitivities, and be aware of topics and gestures or words that are interpreted in a negative way. Some of the ways we can offend people from other cultures is surprisingly easy. Like in Iran and some of the middle eastern countries, a simple thumb’s up is an easy way to insult someone. You wouldn’t think something as simple as putting your thumb up would be considered offensive, but it highlights the need for us to know of these specific cultural sensitivities. I think outside of these specific examples, we need to see that we need to be considerate of people of other cultures and open to learning what is and what is not offensive to them. It would really help communication between people of different cultures if no one felt like they were being offended by the opposite party. Especially here in the US, learning cultural sensitivities of Hispanic people is very important if we want an increasing percentage of our population feeling safe and happy in the country they live in.
One of the major issues beyond accidentally offending people of other cultures is negatively stereotyping those groups of people. When people analyze another group of people, they often stereotype and mislabel individuals’ personalities based on a preconceived notion as to how they thought that person should have acted based on their given ethnicity. That is just seeing someone’s culture at just the face of the iceberg, just based on looks. Not taking into account an individual’s personality, orientation, or any deeper under...
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...d do, and how they should live their lives. Everyone is different, and I think that if we want to embrace the metaphor that America is a “melting pot,” we have to embrace all of the people living in America right now.
Overall, we have so many different groups of people from all different kinds of cultures living in the US right now. We need to learn how to embrace change in our landscape, and how to help make those different groups of people comfortable living in the US. It is important to learn the differences between each culture, because it helps our society work together, and it helps us have a better understanding of the people that we deal with across the globe. I believe that we should embrace the different cultures of all the other people around the globe, and we should also start making the American culture theirs to make their own as well if they want to.
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