Assignment Writing Help on Cultural Heritage

Cultural Heritage

Assignment 1

My culture comprises of several features that make it distinct from many cultures across the world. As a community, we pride in our cultural heritage with all its aspects. The community has a tradition that is founded on the family as an essential basic unit. The family is considered as a sacred entity in my community and efforts are made by the entire community to uphold its dignity and sanctity. As a result of this, an issue that hinders the progress of a family or that intends to cause strife within any family is regarded as contentious. The community is based on collectivist values where the well-being of each individual is the concern of the entire community (Hofstede, 1991). The traditions of the community are in most cases based on various cultural values upheld by the community such as integrity, transparency and regard for everyone’s rights. Each individual is expected to perform his/her responsibilities effectively and dutifully.

My culture comprises of several aspects that can be classified as tangible and intangible. While the community speaks a single language, there are various dialects to that language. The native language of my local community is Spanish. However, intermarriages between my native community and the surrounding communities have resulted in a corruption of the language spoken and the adoption of other foreign languages such as English. This has in effect made the community to consider itself as being interactive with the outside world. While the community welcomes interactions with others whole-heartedly, the value tied to cultural traditions has not depreciated. Besides the language, other intangible aspects of the culture include ethical values, music and festivities (Bouchenaki, n.d). Although I appreciate the values associated with the urbane culture of my current residential location, I also miss the intangible and tangible aspects of my culture which have been mentioned earlier.

Being away from home has made me value my culture more without being skeptical about other cultures. This has even been made more intense by the fact that I am currently in a multi-cultural environment, which enables me to get snippets about other cultures. While I can be able to interact with other persons within this community and to learn about their cultures, I have come to appreciate the importance of having a guiding value system for a community. I do miss home so many times, particularly during seasons associated with festivities when am fully aware that I would not be part of the festivities back home. Moreover, I also miss the value associated with family unity and the oneness exhibited by the entire society in the solution of family problems. In occasions where individuals who observe particular cultural practices convene to enjoy some aspects of their cultures, I often feel alienated from the activities and all I can do is to remember our celebrations back home.

Despite having these feelings, this does not imply that I would prefer being back home to interacting with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. At the same time, being open to interactions does not imply that I have the intention of abandoning my own cultural traditions. I believe that being away from home gives me an opportunity to learn from people of diverse cultures and subsequently to pick aspects of their cultures and thus apply them to improve the quality of life of my people.

Assignment 2

The first time I travelled from my home to a distant place was when I visited Germany, Luxemburg. From the first time I entered the city, I felt a sense of freedom. However, this feeling also came with a certain kind of fear. From the first impression, I found the city as exciting and welcoming. Having been given the recommendation to visit the city as a possible tourist destination, I found it to be a match to my expectations. The city is appealing both in terms of climate and aesthetic properties. Moreover, the city’s culture proved to uphold hospitality and to be in high regard for cross- cultural interactions. The city also has numerous attractions, which gave me the impression that one cannot experience boredom while in Luxemburg. What attracted me most to the city is the Grand Duccal palace, which is an outstanding aspect of the city’s cultural heritage. Not only was the city itself impressive, but the people therein also proved to be of equally pleasant demeanor.

The citizens of the city of Luxemburg are hospitable and kind. One of the greatest aspects associated with their culture is the love of alcoholic drinks. This makes toasts significant in any social set-up. Although communication initially proved to be a challenge due to the language barrier, I was able to communicate with the people more once I had someone to help in the translation. Moreover, the people also valued their own cultural traditions and respected the foreigners’ cultures. One concept that stood out in the interaction with the people is the distinction in the social identity that is associated with foreigners. There are stereotypes regarding people from my country that were held by the Germans. However, these stereotypes had more to do with the people’s perceptions than with the actual characteristics associated with my people. From the description of my cultural background, my hosts immediately attached a particular social identity to my personality. This was not difficult to comprehend or to relate to since I knew that cultural identities are associated with differences in communication pattern which determine the relationship between individuals of different cultures.

In my visit to Luxemburg, I had the perception that despite having cultural differences, the interactions with the people would not display such differences so explicitly. This influenced by experience during the visit in that instead of focusing on the positive aspects of the trip itself, I concentrated more on what made us different from the people. Consequently, this hindered me from experiencing the thrill of the travel more. In case I travel to any other place at another time, I intend to change this perception and instead believe that cultural differences exist and that they can influence how people interact (Allwood, 1985). I would also plan the visit to revolve around pleasant aspects of culture that distinguish people from different cultural backgrounds so that I can learn more regarding how to communicate across cultures.

One concept that struck me from the course and in relation to the visit is about the stages mentioned as being associated with intercultural communication i.e. denial, defense, minimization, acceptance, adaptation and integration (CommGAP, n.d). While I did not stay long enough to experience cultural adaptation and integration, I most definitely experienced the first three stages of intercultural communication.

References

Allwood, J. (1985). Intercultural communication. In Allwood, J. (ed). Papers in anthropological Linguistics. Retrieved from  http://immi.se/eiw/texts/Intercultural_Communication_-_Jens_Allwood.pdf

Bouchenaki, M. (n.d). The interdependency of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. ICOMOS 14th General Assembly and Scientific Symposium. Retrieved from  http://www.icomos.org/victoriafalls2003/papers/2%20-%20Allocution%20Bouchenaki.pdf

CommGAP (n.d). Intercultural Communication. The World Bank.                                                 

Hofstede, G. (1991). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind. London: McGraw-Hill.