True understanding of one’s own culture, no matter how defined, requires personal knowledge of at least one other culture, one that is distinctly different.

True understanding of one’s own culture, no matter how defined, requires personal knowledge of at least one other culture, one that is distinctly different.

Culture is a mix of arts, manner, dress, language, religions, and systems of belief of all population in a country from past generation to the current generation. A country is well depicted by her culture and the culture of a country reflects the nature of many different aspects of that country. An individual can know about his country by acquiring knowledge about the culture of his country. However, to learn only one’s own culture of his country doesn’t help him to compare and contrast his culture with other country’s culture and also doesn’t help him to realize the position of his culture. To better understand one’s culture it is necessary to understand at least one other country’s culture and this helps an individual to identify the distinguishing features of one’s culture relative to another culture.

Culture maintained between a teacher and a student varies from country to country. The relationship between a teacher and a student differ from country to country. For instance, in my country, Bangladesh, the relationship between a teacher and a student is more formal, but in the United States of America this relationship is friendlier. Teachers in my culture should be respected by calling them as “Sir”. But in the US there is no hard and fast rule for showing them respect by using this fixed word. Even teacher can be called by their first names. Also, communication gap between a teacher and student is more in my country, whereas the gap in most of the western countries is small. As a result in most of the westerns countries students can share their problems with teachers in a friendly manner. Teachers can play a pivotal role in building students life. And following this friendly relationship can help students to acquire knowledge in an efficient way. Without studying other countries culture this comparison is not possible. To study only one’s own culture will not help him much to contrast this with other cultures.

The tradition for marriage in one country is differed from another country. In many countries marriage procedure take months to finish and in other countries marriage ceremony holds only for a few days. For example, in Bangladesh the marriage between a woman and a man don’t take place based only on the decision of couple only. Families on both sides gradually know each other and after that their parents decide about their marriage ceremony. So, to completely finish a marriage procedure it takes a long time. But, there are cultures in other countries where the marriage take place based on the consent of couple only. They don’t bother for the relationship between two families.

The working style in one country also varies from other countries. Students in some countries can have part time jobs and can work side by side while they study. For example, in the USA it is possible for an individual to work part time in a job, even though he is a student. After finishing his study he can join as a full time employee in the company. But, many people don’t have this facility. For instance, in Bangladesh there is no chance for part time jobs. They try to finish their study first as quickly as possible and then they go for a full time job in a company. Students cannot show any experience when they seek for jobs in the market. They enter as a freshman and get low paid jobs. But, some institutions are thinking of the options for part time jobs by following other cultures of countries. And this will help students to come in contact with professional works.

Knowing other cultures acts as eye opener for an individual. From the examples discussed in this article it can be easily said that knowledge of other countries helps us to distinguish between different aspects of culture. Knowledge of other countries helped people to achieve clear knowledge about their culture. Also, people get a chance to compare their culture with other cultures and can an attempt to mix culture with another culture that is good for them.

 

© 2008 by Quazi Mainul Hasan. All rights reserved

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