What Happens When Two Cultures Meet?

Misunderstandings, incorrect assumptions and the outright dismissal or denial of one culture's icons or customs by the other are most often the results when two cultures meet. The degree and the way these elements manifest themselves depends on the circumstances of the meeting.

When Europeans established the international slave trade and brought slaves to North America, for example, slave owners forbade the slaves from practicing traditional music and dance. The slaves had to adapt in order for their culture to survive.

In contemporary times, however, such meetings are often planned educational, cultural or business exchanges and one or both parties may make the attempt to educate themselves about the other's culture and adapt to it intelligently