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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Understanding intercultural relationships

By Rosa Jimenez

 Special to CSMS MagazineIntercultural relationships are essential to our survival as a people. Without interacting with one another, the world would not be the place it is today.   I, as a resident of Miami, interact every day of my life with millions of people from different cultures.  Being Intercultural can help one to live in a country where there are people from many different ethnicities.  Lustig and Koester teach us that there are dominant patterns of a culture that can be ordered as individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity, and long term versus short term orientation.     These patterns show us that there are many types of people: People who like to work and solve problems independently, people that depend on a group-opinion to solve a problem, people who will adapt to changes and cope with uncertainties, people who do not have equal levels of status or social power, people who prefer to judge others on the basis of their performance, people who believe in external achievements, and finally people who promote a long term orientation toward life, thriftiness and a short term orientation toward changing events. The latter group, according to Lustig has a deep appreciation for tradition, personal steadiness and stability.      Being caught between two cultures is not easy. This explains why most o the people can’t live in another country because they are used to their own culture, and they would not want to live in a new culture where they would feel strange and not wanted. The majority of people who can’t live between two cultures or more is the elderly people because they don’t like new changes in their lives.       I believe that education should be the key to changing people’s mind in term of embracing diversity. America is a mosaic filled with interesting cultures. Our diversity should be our strength, not our weakness. NoteRosa Jimenez is an ESOL teacher who lives in Miami-Dade County.

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