Learning from other cultures

Learning about other cultures gives someone a chance to appreciate his or her own culture. I recently visited Uganda with a friend, who for the first time, was setting foot out of Rwanda.
 Doreen Umutesi
Doreen Umutesi

Learning about other cultures gives someone a chance to appreciate his or her own culture. I recently visited Uganda with a friend, who for the first time, was setting foot out of Rwanda.

It goes without saying that when she got there, there were a lot of things that surprised her. One of the many things that surprised her was how the Baganda women culturally greeted others while kneeling down. In stark contrast to Rwanda’s culture, she had only knelt when she was seeking forgiveness from her father after fighting at school in her primary five. While in Rwanda it is the norm to hug while greeting anyone, it is taboo in Buganda to hug a father/ mother-in- law.

Recently, I learnt that in China it’s a law for couples to give birth to one child and it’s compulsory. The one-child policy literally, “policy of birth planning” is the one-child limitation in the population control policy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This is so because China is the world’s most populous country, with a population of over 1.3 billion. This on my part felt unbearable as I imagined the pain these children go through as growing up without siblings. As lame as it may sound, I consider this my culture shock of the year.

After this bombardment of varying cultures, I was happy that our Rwandan culture and way of living still gives us the chance to give birth to any number of children we are able to take care of.

Culture shock results from the stress surrounding of living and learning about a new culture. It normally involves adjusting to new foods, customs, and languages in a new environment.

When undergoing culture shock someone in most case experiences irritability, loneliness and homesickness but at the end of the day, they learn to appreciate various cultures for what they are. Consequently, we gain a better and new-found love for our culture.

 

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