I realise not many people have heard the term ‘culturiosity’ or even if they have heard it by any chance, they may not totally grasp the depth of its meaning.
We see the world condense on a daily basis as a result of technological and digital advance, and as a result, we have turned our massive planet Earth into a small global village, in which we as citizens of the world live and connect with each other inspite of our geographical and cultural differences. In this scenario, being mindful of ‘culturiosity’ will allow greater understanding and tolerance, which will help us respect our fellow beings regardless of our differences. Culturiosity or cross-cultural awareness is central to establishing trust, show respect and have more fulfilling relationships with others, especially those who don’t share the same culture.
We all believe in a higher power, live on the same planet and share the same values like love, justice, freedom and mercy. In other words, these various aspects are sufficient to tell us how similar we all are even before we start discussing our differences.
When a new team member from another culture joins your office, you usually feel uncomfortable or anxious as you don’t know what to expect. Here is when your culturiosity attempts will prove beneficial. You, as a mature individual have to learn and make yourself aware about the new culture from right and trusted sources. The last thing you would want is to take your information from unverified sources or base your conclusion on other people’s perceptions, which most of the time just reflects their personal opinion and judgment. If you want to know anything about a certain culture, then it’s best to find out from the people who belong to that culture or live in that cultural environment.
Most of us have a set of assumptions, experiences and preconceived notions that hinders our natural ability to see the beauty in the people around us and turns off one important childlike instinct that God had given us — curiosity, which will always make life an amusing journey worth exploring. For instance, when a two-year-old child sees other children playing, the natural tendency is to go and look at them, smile and join the group. While playing, he or she will observe what the other children are wearing, the artworks on their clothes, the colour of their shoes and the toys in their hands.
With that in mind, let’s all contribute in promoting cultural diversity and tolerance around us in order to gain enriching life experiences as everyone can make a difference!
— The reader is an Emirati director of human resources based in Dubai