Free «Understanding Cultures» Essay Sample

All the cultures of the world have their unique features that inevitably draw attention of a curious mind. The differences between one’s own culture and other cultures serve as a source of energy to inquire and learn more about other people. Moreover, a person acquainted with different cultures becomes more aware of his/her native culture and also gains deeper understanding of him/herself. The culture of Japan is so rich and ancient that years and years of rigorous investigation would only slightly approximate the researcher to real knowledge of it. However, given the opportunity to communicate with Japanese people, it is important to ask meaningful questions to find out as much information as possible.

One of the first questions to ask the representatives of another culture is about their traditions. I would ask a Japanese person to describe some of the most important traditions of Japan and whether his/her family observes them. While the person is engaged in telling the story, it is possible to make conclusion about some of the cultural cornerstones that are the foundation of that culture. Another aspect of inquiry would be the traditional roles of males and females in the culture. So, I would ask to describe the role of a man and a woman in the Japanese culture and how that role might be changing or developing with the time. By asking this question it can be concluded whether the culture is highly traditional or quite modern and dynamic. It would give an idea of how strongly the people are grounded in their culture and traditions, which is very important. The question of language is one of the crucial ones, so asking about the language and the calligraphy would be also interesting.

Moreover, I would definitely ask to describe some of the traditional forms of art and if it is possible, also the origin of those as well as how they are seen today. Finally, I would appreciate to know whether Japanese culture is collectivistic or individualistic. That is why my last question would be about the interaction between family and community members and whether people usually do lots of activities as a group or the individuality is placed at the center of all things.


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