How to Appreciate a Culture without Appropriation

By Quenci Bradley, Register Contributor

In a world that is becoming socially assimilative, it is important to understand other cultures. With an increase in mobility and technology, millennials are more likely to come in contact with people of different cultural backgrounds than our predecessors have.

It is difficult to appreciate cultures because of the judgmental and cruel characteristics of others; however, here are some tips to broaden your mindset on how to be receptive to other cultures.

Understanding of cultures start with the development and upbringing with the children of the world. It is important to raise children to appreciate other cultures. Along with understanding the cultures, you are teaching them to be cooperative citizens. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests actions that you can take to help foster a child’s cultural understanding. These actions include:

* Pointing out differences you see in others in a positive light, and point similarities that you see between you and the other cultures. Point out that everyone is the same however, show that it is okay.

* Let your child know that speaking with prejudice can be hurtful to others. Also avoid speaking negatively about other cultural groups in your home. Set an example of respect.

* If possible, create an opportunity for your child to meet children in other cultural groups.

There are many different types of cultures such as professional, corporate, educational, national, religious/spiritual, sexual orientation, generational, family and gender.

In the world today, religious and spiritual beliefs create many differences between different cultures. Everyone searches for a spiritual outlet depending on situations whether it is open or intimate, but some reasons people begin practicing spirituality include:

* They have spiritual faith but are no longer religious

* They grew up in a family that embraced spirituality

* They want to explore the meaning of life

* They have experienced loss or grief

* They think it might help with stress or release of emotions

Learning about spirituality does not mean you have to practice it however, understanding it will ease prejudice assumptions.

In retrospect, it is vital to become open to understand other cultures.