Keep Your Culture Alive from Afar

Photograph "Brazil" by Debbie Aspin, available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/52585655@N02/5228792638/sizes/m/in/photostream/ under a Creative Commons Attribution.

Culture is all the characteristics that make up your lifestyle and practices. From religious beliefs to some of the food we eat, we grow up and thrive in our own cultures. But when we travel abroad, we face a world that is often very different. Different places and different people can put a person in a completely new culture, absent of their own practices. But where there is a void, we have the opportunity to fill it with a few of our own unique practices and share it with others.

Keep talking

What you say and how you talk carries with it the characteristics of where you’re from. Nothing seems most outwardly defining than noticing an accent or hearing an unfamiliar language. It often spurs interest, especially when introduced into a different culture. Find ways to practice your language, such as reading books, newspapers, or even watching television or news networks that share your cultural characteristics.

Food with a touch of culture

Bring from home a few recipes that are unique to your culture, and always try to eat your favorite home cooked meals. Certain foods aren’t always available abroad, but it is still important to enjoy the taste of your culture whenever you can. You can always get a little creative by substituting foods similar to each other, such as potatoes for some bread. This even gives you the opportunity to mix your culture with other cultures, and helps you find new ways to add new flavor to old-time favorites.

Associate with your fellow man

Find others from your culture, so that you can share and practice your beliefs and ideas. Stay in contact with family and friends back home. When traveling, finding phone services that can keep up with your needs is imperative to ensuring your comfort abroad. International calling services provide the necessary abilities for traveling abroad. With the right carrier, these services can be cost saving on international calls throughout the world, as opposed to roaming or long distance charges that apply to many regular phone services.

Don’t stop believing

Practice your religious beliefs as though you were at home. Just about anywhere in the world, you can find localized religious temples and churches that appeal to many of the different religions. And of course, you may even be kind enough to share your practices with others who are interested.

Take a chance to party on

Parties and festivals are traditions that are shared throughout the world. What make them unique are all the characteristics that a culture incorporates into their activities. From decorations to foods, gatherings like these allow people abroad to gather together and practice the great things that make their culture unique.

Etiquette is almost always different at festivals, creating unique differences in dining and social habits. Even people who aren’t from your culture may attend, learning and practicing new experiences to better themselves. In a way, festivals are perhaps the most effective tool in not only maintaining cultural heritage, but sharing it with the world around them. Attending cultural festivals is perhaps the most opportune time for you to remember who you are and where you come from. At the same time that you are receiving, you can give back to others who share the same ideas and practices, even if they are different in their own ways, because even cultures have sub-cultures inside of them. These festivals allow you to talk and stay in contact with other members of your culture that are also living abroad. You even get a chance to enjoy some meals, music, and people that share your same ideas, beliefs, and language, which can make a person living abroad feel just like they’re at home for a change.

A social tip

Always remember that when you are abroad, you shouldn’t let other people make you feel guilty about keeping your culture alive. There will always be people that lack the open minded nature that it takes to learn and enjoy life, but that doesn’t mean you have to let those ideas keep you from enjoying your life. Avoid people that want to stop you from being happy, and find people that want you to be happy.

Each place on Earth has its own unique people. From countries to cities, different places and different people make up the unlimited number of ideas and practices that any one of us may associate ourselves with. And sometimes, even a family is a culture of its own, which is something we always want to maintain wherever we go in the world. So, when you’re traveling abroad, take a piece of home with you and share it with the world around you.

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