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Landfall-Learning > Social Studies > Culture


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 group..."

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!

Other Social Studies topics:

Governments and Economies