We live on an incredibly amazing and diverse planet, with hundreds of countries and independent nations, thousands of cultures, and billions of people. Most people are familiar with their own country and heritage but might not know much about anything else.
Learning about different places and cultures is important, especially because we live in an increasingly global world. By familiarizing ourselves with different ways of life, we learn how to view things from a different perspective and how to treat our fellow humans with respect and kindness.
But what’s the best way to teach yourself about other cultures in a respectful manner? When you’re learning about other cultures, it’s crucial to make sure you’re appreciating them, not appropriating them. In this guide, we’ll go over some ways to learn about different cultures that are both educational and considerate.
Try New Food
If you’re looking for a relaxing and delicious way to immerse yourself into new cultures, consider broadening your palate. When traveling, make it a point to have your meals at local restaurants instead of familiar chains. This allows you to experience the native cuisine. The world is a cookbook, and each culture will have their own distinctive recipes and use different ingredients in their cooking.
German cuisine relies heavily on bread, potatoes, and pork, for example, as evidenced by Sauerbraten, one of the national dishes. Although India doesn’t have an official national dish, many regard Khichdi, which is made from rice and lentils, as the most popular meal.
Attend Cultural Events
Another way to learn about different cultures is to participate in different cultural celebrations and events that are open to the public. After you find an event to attend and mark the day in your calendar, take the time to brush up on the proper etiquette. Etiquette is a set of rules that dictate how you should talk, behave, and dress at certain events. You don’t want to get too tipsy at Oktoberfest or unintentionally ruin the parade at Mardi Gras.
If you’re planning to attend a Native American powwow, it’s important to know how to be respectful. Walking inside of the circle, for example, is a huge faux pas that many first-time attendees may not know about. Following the rules and practicing basic courtesy will ensure that you and everyone else get the best possible experience out of the event.
Visit a Museum
There’s no better way to learn about history and culture than visiting a place that’s sole purpose is to teach you about history and culture. You can learn a lot by visiting a museum. You get to read about history, view important historical and cultural artifacts up close, attend guest talks, and a whole lot more.
There are many different types of museums, too. You can visit an art museum to learn more about the culture’s artistic side, a history museum to educate yourself about certain events, or a natural history and natural science museum to see how the geography and biodiversity of the area has evolved throughout the years.