Other Cultures

I have lived in the United States my entire life. In my experience, we don’t learn much about cultures outside of ours to any great detail. One can go their entire life and not know much about people from other walks of life. People who may seem different (and in many ways, they are), but at the end of the day, are much the same as anyone else.  They’re human as the rest of us.  If we expect others to respect our culture and treat us with decency, we must extend that same respect to others (the only caveat to that is that I do not respect cultural practices that violate human rights). I think a good way to respect other cultures is to learn about them, or help expose people to them.    For example, the Sea Gypsies:

For thousands of years, the nomadic Moken sailed the Andaman Sea between Myanmar’s Mergui islands and Thailand’s southern islands, living most of their lives on their boats. Unlike their counterparts in Thailand, where mass tourism has already irrevocably changed the Moken lifestyle, many of them had never seen foreigners until very recently. As tourism increases, the Myanmar Moken, as well as the government and developers, would do well to learn from Thailand’s mistakes. This could be the last chance for the sea gypsies to preserve their language, their way of life and their mythology. (Austin Bush)

More on the Sea Gypsies here.

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Other Cultures
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