No matter what we do, culture is an element of the society we live in, whether it is our culture by birth or the culture of the new country we live in. These cultures affect us more than we realize.
A fascinating aspect of 2019 is that we are all connected. It is so important to recognize the fact that we are exposed to much more than we were 30 years ago: we did not travel as much, and the Internet was only a small figment of someone’s imagination. No one knew that the idea of technology and the different screens we see at home would bring such closeness to the many diverse cultures.
Today, many of us live in completely different environments from the ones we were born into. Sometimes we don’t even speak the languages of our birth-cultures. In these circumstances, we learn to adopt other cultures or even develop ourselves from them. Let’s say we have a Chinese family who immigrated to the US. At home, the children are most likely going to hear Chinese spoken by their parents; when they go to school — where they would spend most of their time for the next 15 years at least — they will be exposed to the culture of a new place with its own sets of intricate rules and customs that are distinct from the culture at home. So the child would experience both cultures and have to adjust accordingly. Naturally, they would learn to speak two languages and learn to integrate the various aspects of both cultures into their lives.
Exposure to various cultures can change a person in many ways, but most importantly, it can cultivate the ability to understand and respect others.
The environment in an international school such as CIS also gives opportunities for people from different countries to influence each other. The students in our school communicate with each other a lot — even using several languages in one conversation — and learn diverse cultures through this. For example, during class debates or discussions, the contrasting opinions given by people relate back to their backgrounds. We can then understand the different perspectives and learn from them, instead of just judging their opposing views. Interacting with people from various races and countries in school also helps us encounter cultural differences firsthand so that we do not become shocked later on.
Exposure to various cultures can change a person in many ways, but most importantly, it can cultivate the ability to understand and respect others. Multicultural education with others can give more opportunities to reach individuals from various groups and nationalities. This helps us realize that everyone is equal, allows us to learn to respect different communities, and also become more tolerant of people who are different from us. When we are with various characters, we get to learn about their viewpoints and become more understanding.
Culture is a part of our community that can change the way we think about and see the world. With ideas and traditions constantly being exchanged, we can learn more about ourselves and others than we ever imagined.
Playlist: International Tunes
A few weeks ago, we asked everyone their favorite songs from different countries. The result: a 6-hour playlist spanning 6 continents and 19 countries. We present to you: “CIS International Tunes”. Follow the playlist, save the songs, and marvel in the fact that our school has such diverse, wonderful tastes.
Click on the Spotify logo to view the playlist.
Tip: songs are arranged by country, but we recommend listening on shuffle to discover new music!
Article and feature image by Celine K. (Grade 9)
The views expressed in this article represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the views of Dragon’s Print and Cebu International School.