According to the Merriam-Webster Online dictionary, culture is
"a: the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and
behavior that depends upon man's capacity for learning and transmitting
knowledge to succeeding generations b: the customary beliefs,
social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social
Our goal is to explore the culture of each unique territory we
travel to. One of the reasons we love to travel is to experience
all of the wonderfully diverse cultures around the world. Unfortunately,
many travelers go to foreign lands, but then expect or desire
the local customs and cultures to be the same as their own. To
truly appreciate each place we visit, we like to immerse ourselves
as much as possible in the culture of our host. This means practicing
their customs, speaking their language, eating their food and
making as many new friends as possible.
We have learned that if we show a sincere interest in our hosts,
we will be richly rewarded by their hospitality. Most people are
proud of their own country, hometown and culture. When you show
an interest in these things, you will find that they tend to bend
over backwards to show you around and help you integrate into
the community. They will often offer to act as tour guides and
treat you to a home-cooked meal. At the same time, the more immersed
we become, the more we enjoy our stay.
Because we are of so many diverse backgrounds in the United States,
this same attitude can also work at home. A good test of this
theory in the classroom is to identify someone with a different
background, and simply get to know and understand each other.
Find out what kind of food they like for breakfast or for dinner.
What are some special foods they might eat on holidays? You might
be surprised at what you learn!