Quick, bury the dead!

Taras Bohonok

8/12/2010

I wouldn’t normally post my commentary on the news, since this type of entry does not  fit into any of my typical categories, but on this occasion, I insist.  (I will toss it into my, recently created, “Writing” category.)  As I dimmed the lights, and readied myself for bed, I tuned in to my nightly lineup of prerecorded news shows to catch up with the world.  After a few interesting stories on Nightline, I began to watch the BBC World News.  They were covering the truly horrific mudslides that claimed many lives in China.  After three days of searching for survivors, officials are beginning to focus more on removing the mud.  So far, so good.  All of the sudden, the story begins to focus on the fear of spreading disease.  With fears that the rain hasn’t stopped in the last 24 hours, officials are pulling their rescue crews to help bury the dead, and disinfect the area.  People are afraid that cadavers might get washed up into the waterways and bring disease.  I was shocked to what I was watching.  It’s as if these dead bodies were radioactive.  Men in full hazard suits were walking around on camera, spraying left to right.

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Intercultural Understanding

 

Gaynor Borade delivers a great definition for cultural relativism.  He says, “Cultural relativism is a tool for unbiased critique,” (Borade 1).  To achieve intercultural understanding, people must rid themselves of cultural biases and try to interpret others’ ethics and values through their own cultural perspectives.  An analysis of intercultural understanding reveals its limitations and precludes to effective methods that can bridge that gap.

In order to be understanding, one must first become respectful.  If people are too ignorant to remove the notion of superiority from their ego, they can never get to the point of understanding another culture.  You must “sterilize” yourself from prejudice views.  This can be achieved by educating yourself through research of the culture’s history, religion and customs.  Unfortunately, you can read as much as you want about a culture, but you will never become as understanding as when you physically immerse yourself in another culture.  Once you have gained respect and acceptance of your differences, you can begin the learning process though  intercultural understanding.

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