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6Jan

What is Cultural Awareness?

By Aisha Rutnam | #respect, #shremaya, #culturaldiversity, #culture, #embrace, #love, #connection, Blog, Main, Literature | 6 Jan 2022 |

My name is Aisha Rutnam. My family are culturally from India, however migrated to the UK, where my mother was later born and raised. She then moved to Japan and both my sister and I were born in Kobe and spent most of our childhood in Sydney (Gadigal Land). As a family, we have embraced several different cultures and perspectives that have contributed to our worldview as it currently stands. Personally, I believe these unique and different experiences have allowed me to become much more aware about different cultures, their traditions, and the impact of their experiences on how they see the world. Regarding behaviour change, I respect those with diverse cultures and experiences and believe these perspectives should be shared and embraced. These will foster a kind, compassionate and respectful society. 

Cultural awareness is being aware of cultural differences and similarities exist, without judging individuals on their culture. Cultural awareness does not mean understanding each culture but merely being willing to ask others questions, being curious and welcoming others from different cultures as opposed to labelling them. Moreover, cultural awareness is pertinent in the 21st Century as globalisation and diplomatic issues such as wars have brought more people from different cultures closer together than they ever have been before. 

To increase cultural awareness: (Shremaya is a fantastic way to start!!!)

  1. Understand yourself, your beliefs, values, biases and cultural background. Do you make assumptions or judgements about those with the same or different beliefs, values or cultural background?
  2. Research different cultures and how this impacts individuals’ understanding of the world or their behaviour. For example, those from Asian cultures are more collectivist and show concern about their family or community when decision-making. However, those from western cultures are more individualistic and show concern about themselves when decision-making. 
  3. Expose and immerse yourself with those from different cultural backgrounds, through travel or discussing with friends or attending a cultural event. 

Shremaya aims to embrace different cultures, experiences and understandings of the world to foster a societal shift to one of inclusion and understanding. Moreover, personal growth for individuals and more broadly, a more productive society. 


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