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What is cultural awareness, and why is it important?

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Cultural awareness is the ability to recognize the different beliefs, values and customs that someone has based on that person's origins, and it allows a person to build more successful personal and professional relationships in a diverse environment. A person's state, region or country of origin and local customs heavily influence cultural background.

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What is cultural awareness, and why is it important?
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Awareness that someone from a different culture gives a person a chance to adjust and adapt. Americans tend to operate at a fast pace, so they must often slow down and allow for informal interaction when dealing with people from parts of Europe. Showing consideration for the cultural norms of others makes a person more hospitable in a home country and better-equipped to fit in when traveling abroad.

In a workplace, diversity is an opportunity and a challenge. Different perspectives allow work teams to discuss more options to achieve better results. However, employees must be sensitive to the influence of culture on communication and etiquette. Regular eye contact is a sign of engagement when talking or listening in the United States. However, it is sometimes viewed as domineering and disrespectful in Japan. Therefore, moderating eye contact may help Americans in building rapport and mutual respect with people of a different cultural background.

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Related Questions

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    What is cultural discrimination?

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    Cultural discrimination refers to exclusion, restriction or hate that is directed at a person or a group on the basis of perceived or real differences in cultural values and beliefs. UNESCO indicates that discrimination can be direct or indirect and often leads to harassment or denial of basic rights. Religious hate, tribalism and racism are the most common forms of cultural discrimination.

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    Why is cultural heritage important?

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    Cultural heritage is important because it helps people connect with others who have similar backgrounds and provides a sense of unity and belonging. Cultural heritage also provides people with a link to traditions that might otherwise be lost.

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    Why are cultural traditions important?

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    Cultural traditions are important because they transmit shared values, stories and goals from one generation to the next. Traditions encourage groups of people to create and share a collective identity, which in turn serves to shape individual identities.

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  • Q:

    What is an example of cultural assimilation?

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    Cultural assimilation occurs when members of one cultural group adopt the language, practices and beliefs of another group, often losing aspects of their traditional culture in the process. One example involves the forced assimilation of Native Americans, who were required to attend government-funded boarding schools and forbidden to speak their traditional languages. As of 2014, only 154 of the roughly 300 original Native American languages are still spoken.

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