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Dimensions Of Culture, Values And Communication

1452 words - 6 pages

Every culture has their specific and individual cultural norms and behavior patterns. These behaviors have been passed down form one generation to another from family members, teachers, peers and others who have obtained their beliefs and values from their culture since birth. Most individuals are not fully aware of their own culture norms until they experience a different culture where the beliefs and values differ form their own. There are three primary dimensions of culture; language, physical, and psychological. Language is used primarily as the tool of communication between individuals who have been raised with in a specific culture. The physical dimension consists of the local environment and cultural activities. The psychological dimension includes the beliefs and mental activities of the culture. The connection of the three dimensions can help one culture communicate with another; however you must understand your own culture before you can relate to another.As a teenager and young adult I had many opportunities to travel outside of the United States, but I had always refused to leave my culture and what I had always considered to be “home”. I and many of my peers were taught from childhood that the United States of America is the “best country in the World”. As Americans we are taught that we are the richest, smartest, safest and most powerful country on Earth. Because of my upbringing in this type of culture I had no interest in leaving my country to travel to a place that would be considered poor with no air conditioning, heating, and electricity along with all of the other so called “necessities” we as Americans don’t need but think we do. How would I play my video games, watch T.V. or talk on my cell phone? I was always told that you can’t even drink the water in other countries because it is not safe, and to top everything off these people in other countries didn’t even speak English. I used all of these excuses when someone invited me to travel abroad and told them that they were crazy if they thought I would leave my comfortable life in the so called “Greatest Country in the World” where I have everything I needed and wanted. I wish I knew what a big mistake I was making by turning down all the opportunities I had to see the World and experience all the different cultures as a teenager and young adult.In 2004 I had a life changing experience. It was the year that I became a self proclaimed “World traveler”. In 2004 I would leave everything behind and accept the invitation of a friend travel to VIETNAM, a communist country, located half way around the World and well-known for their years of War and lack of Human rights. I would leave my comfort zone for the first time for no other reason than I had too much vacation and I had to use it or lose it. I would spend over 24 hours flying on a plane to a country that I knew nothing about. The cultural differences between Asia...

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