Amidst the Cultural Diversity Essay

Amidst the Cultural Diversity

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            There are millions of societies existing in the world. Every one of those has there own identity, own sets of beliefs, knowledge and ideals that guide their way of life. This is what they call cultural diversity. This diversity exists not only in countries consisting different parts but within a certain society consisting of different group of people trying to prove and show to the world their own identity. While they are trying to enrich their own, their adaptation to environment had led them to develop ways of treating their new experiences with such meanings based on the things their understanding of the situation provided to them by their notion of it. This is one of the major problems occurring when one person or one group of people encountered new group of people that have different way of life in contrast to them, which in effect, they tried to change or at least influence them to make a parallel understanding between the two clashing identity.1

            In dealing with refugees, as a member of United Nation High Commission of Refugees, they should, at the first place, be the first person to be more open in accepting ideas and beliefs from another culture. They are not required to accept their beliefs but to at least, respect it. They are the first people expected to have a deeper knowledge about them and they should have the capability to assess their behaviors based on what they perceived attitude towards them. Remember that they are the one who were suffering from great social, physical and emotional distress from what is happening to their society.

            So, in order to attain a fluid relationship with the refugees, they should undergo series of trainings to develop their personalities and behaviors to foster a non-culture biased environment towards to them, which will lead to a cross cultural sensitivity.

            The courses should be outline according to the priority and most important aspects of dealing with others, most importantly is, in understanding their needs and being sensitive to their own way of life. They should have physical tolerance over stress, be aware what culture is all about and issues concerning cultural diversities, language skills and its importance in dealing with others, how to minimize biases and most importantly, how to interact with people having opposite ideas.

            Physical tolerance over stress is very much important in dealing with refugees. They should show to the refugees that they are really willing to help and what they are doing is for all the people there and not for their own. They should not feel that they are burden to us but we should show them that we are enjoying what we are doing. On the other hand, working with refugees is a very stressful work. They have to deal with different people time to time. They are the first persons expecting to rise in the morning to assist the refugees and they are the last persons to retire. This stressful activity tests their dedication and perseverance in helping them. By triumphantly disciplining themselves, they can let them feel that the refugees are important to them and not the other way around that we are important to them. By setting this example, we can let them develop better relationship because they will feel that we are there in times of hardships and we can sacrifice things for them.

            Another is, they should be physically fit enough to defend ourselves. They should not be burdened to the refugees and at least they know how to fight if necessary. This will give you. The impression of knowledge in what they are doing there and therefore gaining their trusts towards them.

            Next is, they should be aware what is culture and other cultural concerns of the people most probably they are working with and the people we will be working to. We define culture as the language, norms, values, beliefs, knowledge, and symbols that make up the way of life.[1]In working with different people with different backgrounds, it is hard at first to know where you should be. But remember to consider that despite of having different backgrounds, you have only one united goal. So, they should try not to show them that we do not agree to their culture. If we do not accept or believe them, we should at least respect them for them to respect us. By doing this, we can avoid misunderstandings and different conflicts arising from having different beliefs. One of the most important points is we must remove the connotation of western culture to them. Especially to the refugees in the middle Asia like Iraq, Afghanistan and others, they view western people as bad people who know nothing but war and chaos. By understanding their context, we can make them feel that we are not doing this because we have to but we want to. Integrating those concerns with the negotiation skills will lead to a smooth and dynamic relationship and will improve the stability of cross cultural existence within the boundaries of the refugees.

            Next thing that we should possess is to understand them despite the language barrier that we have. We all know that it is very difficult to learn a new language but it is not impossible to understand people based on what you see and their reactions to certain stimuli. Train ourselves in developing ways of communications and how to adapt to people with really strange words. In effect, they will feel that we are really extending hands to them because we are the ones trying to learn their language. It is a very vital part of the training because in the real scenario, we will be judged according to how we negotiate with other people and how they understand what we are saying.

            It is very important to learn this because most of the time they will spend is consumed only by talking to the refugees. They should not allow that the refugees to feel indifferent to us because of the language we are using. In a way, we should be part of their life for us to be part of theirs. It is important to have a common understanding because many of the conflict arose were due to lack of understanding and wrong choice of words. For example, the way that certain people act because they want to change our word choices because it is too positive to think that there is a great dilemma that is happier than before.

            Another, we should try to eliminate or minimize our biases towards the others. As defined by culture, we have different societal roles and interpretations and at the same time, we have different standards of things to be followed. By having these differences, we can see that it is a vital step to remove our prior prejudice to them because somehow, it will hinder our acceptance and understanding of their situations. And also, for them not to feel that we are only trying to empower them. At the first place, their reason for staying there is not because they want to be refugees but they left them no other choice but to be one. We should be careful in giving our judgment because who we are dealing with are people who needs more attention than any of us. They are the ones who need encouragement for them to move on with life. As the biases and prejudice largely affects those people who knew that they are really marginalized compared to other groups. Their behaviors and attitude towards us were honed by the way that things were planted to us by the previous generations we had in dealing with these kinds of experiences.

            Lastly, we should know how to interact with people with different ideas. This is the problem brought to us by cultural diversity wherein we have different views on things that many people feel that they are involved. Since we have different identities, in able not to develop conflicts with other people, let them understand your words and instructions for your convenience and for the convenience also of the people. Most probably, there are Muslims people who will go in that place. Since we have different culture, we should remove our prejudice and look and dwell in the strong points of their life. By developing a method wherein we can easily point out the reasons behind why they are feeling like that with regards to their experiences. Do not be too imposing to the things such as our own concepts of government and other special things that they may feel alienated in their own homeland. We should try not to be traditional only but we have to mark a change in the history.

            The difference in idea does not necessarily means that someone is correct and the other is not. Let us always remember that there are things that we might overlook. By thinking first what we are saying and watching ourselves in a cultural show. An important factor in understanding different personalities is our own self biased that we only accept those who possesses the desired character that we can have. The power of language is that to mean a word, there are thousand ways to do this. A good example is having positive outlook in life or optimism. Although it is not bad that we show this to the people, but the members of UNHCR have a funny way of showing it. In this way, they were being misunderstood by other people because they think that we are too optimistic that they feel we are happy in our situation.

            Lastly, we should develop a sense of rapport to the refugees but not close enough that you forgot the division between you and them. By having this kind of training, we can develop our personal competencies to fit with the cultural relativity although the universality of concept is nonexistent. In this way, we can address the facts that despite the conflict and other struggles happening to them, with our help, we can at least make them feel better because of their sufferings. Although, there is a political imbalance and the presence of government is not irregularly implemented, we could address the lack of understanding in their cultural context by first making a study about how the culture in the world is different but at some point is parallel wherein there is a universal rule applied.

            To sum up, it is important to possess deeper knowledge and understanding of varying cultures to make us more sensitive in their chosen way of life. By doing this, we can be sure that what we perceive is the same as what they perceived. If we will integrate our knowledge in cross cultural sensitivity, we can attain the desired negotiation result that we should have.

[1] Calhoun,Keller,Light. Sociology. McGraw hill.

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