(Picture taken from http://www.pixabay.com)
So often when we think of learning about another culture, we think about the things that we see on the surface. We think of food, clothing, transportation, or music. While these things are definitely included, culture is more than just these types of things. Culture is how one reacts to a situation. Culture is how one worships. Culture is how one thinks and why they have the beliefs that drive that thinking. Culture goes much deeper and it encompasses who a person or group of people truly are. It is something that drives them.
An example would be the amount of emotional expressivity that one portrays. In the Latin culture, there is typically a higher level of emotional expressivity. They outwards show their emotions more so than perhaps, an Anglo-American. This is speaking in general terms. There are always those who are exceptions to this. Some exceptions would be my husband and I. He, Mexican, shows almost no emotional expressions while I, Anglo-American, am very passionate and sometimes show too much emotion.
Keeping this in perspective as we teach others about culture will be beneficial. We want to make sure that our students know that while certain cultures do and believe certain things, there is still the individual who is more in depth than a general view of a culture. So what are some ideas that we can use in our classrooms? Perhaps we can do some role plays. Also, there are going to be students of different cultures in our classrooms. Allow each of them to share their own personal experience of what is considered appropriate in their own culture. There are so many more activities to help students learn the deeper culture of the world than recipe sharing.