Connecting Cultures

Omar ReyesJuly 21, 2021Connection and Isolation

Today, it is essential to find opportunities to communicate with others in order to get a better understanding of those around you. It will help to identify parallels, make links, and cross universes at a time when disparities tend to rule today's society. Cultural festivals and services spring up in unlikely places around the world, from city leaders and associations to embassies and consulates. People in neighborhoods across the globe, for example, are exposed to different cultures through activities such as sister city projects, cultural events such as Chinese New Year, and food festivals in cities such as Chicago, which feature everything from Polish to Puerto Rican cuisine.

Across the country, events honoring the heritage of a single community, country, or area are held. Cultural festivals and touring shows will give visitors a new viewpoint on a topic by allowing them to taste traditional foods, hear unfamiliar languages, and watch games or displays of different crafts and skills. A more formal environment, such as a museum, provides a wealth of knowledge through exhibits, artifacts, and often a thorough examination of the history of a topic, such as a historical incident, site, or community. Museums refresh their holdings on a regular basis, and new workshops and seminars will help you learn about new artists, cultures, and practices. There are landmarks around the world devoted to demonstrating crucial points in history and how these events impacted the individuals and cultures in the surrounding area. Some monuments are as simple as a highway monument, while others are entire structures devoted to explaining the significance of a particular incident or sequence of events. Monuments and historical sites can also be used as civic gathering spots and festival venues.

Food can be used to capture someone's heart, but it can also be used to learn about another world. Learning about the local dishes and traditions that accompany such an essential part of everyday life will give you a clear understanding of the ideals and a literal taste for an exotic way of life. The proliferation of food trucks, many of which serve conventional foods from around the world, provides ways to try foods you would not have previously had access to.

Almost every culture has some form of artistic expression. There's no lack of opportunities to bring people together through the arts, theater, and dance to art gallery exhibits and musical concerts. Film festivals are a great way to discover new films and directors. Attending shows or watching films that emphasize cultural engagement and celebrate different experiences will help you broaden your horizons and learn about new topics or cultures.

Omar Reyes is a ninth-grade student at the Awty International School in Houston, Texas. In his free time, he fences competitively and is a violinist for Awty’s band and orchestra. In the future, he hopes to pursue a career in finance or medicine.