So You Want to Have a Positive Cultural Encounter?

Topics: Maya Angelou, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Of Plymouth Plantation Pages: 2 (577 words) Published: November 20, 2007
What would it be like to visit unknown relatives in the vast expanses of Africa? What would you do if you were stranded on an island inhabited by strange and unfamiliar Indians? How would you react if you were saved from starvation during a cold winter by friendly natives? Society today has been shaped by the cross-cultural adventures and experiences of history. What if you were able to have an experience like these and learn more about a different culture. Following the stories of "My Sojourn in the Lands of My Ancestors", "My Sojourn in the Lands of My Ancestors", and "Of Plymouth Plantation", you can learn the "do"s and "don't"s of having a cross-cultural experience.

In "My Sojourn in the Lands of My Ancestors", Maya Angelou writes about her experience of traveling to Africa and meeting the tribe that her ancestors belonged to. She made an effort to be long, wearing customary dress and speaking the language. Now, you may not speak the language of the place they want to visit, but most natives will appreciate the attempt to adapt to their culture. Sometimes they will even recognize your nationality and be able to speak in your own language. A good idea is to bring a pocket dictionary with common phrases.

Another way to truly experience the culture is by eating the common meal. Nowadays you can find a McDonalds in almost any country, but what's the point of traveling to a foreign land just to buy a happy meal? In La Relacion, the explorers didn't have any food, but when the Natives gave them fish and other exotic foods, the hungry travelers ate it gratefully. To experience the culture, you must taste the culture. For example, in Ecuador, Guinea Pig is a delicacy, but to an average American, they're cute little pets. In many countries, they consider it rude to not even try the food. Sometimes it's better to just not think about what you're eating when you try it. In "La Relacion", the natives also gave the frightened explorers shelter. Sure, you could...
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