Podcast Link: “Expectations & Culture”
Other Platforms: Here
In my almost 30 years in the USA, my observation is that the RACE conversation is often at the heart of many debates while CULTURAL understanding is ignored and often misunderstood. I believe we need to do a better job of understanding the culture of a person or people group so we can grow forward together, while remembering and learning about systemic ways people are oppressed. On countless occasions, I have tested and observed the dynamic between race and culture, and realized that in many situations, the problem isn’t race, but instead culture.
As Seema Global Consulting has conducted a variety of workshops over the years to help individuals and groups grow in cultural competency, we have come to understand that many times EXPECTATIONS within a culture tend to cause greater misunderstandings between people. I myself have lived in western culture for over 45 years and can see how understanding the expectations in the Indian culture have been absolutely crucial for me.
Culture = customs, social behaviours and attitudes.
Assimilation = “the voluntary process of taking in and fully understanding information or ideas. It is the absorption and integration of people, ideas, or culture into a wider society or culture. The process of becoming like something”.
Forced Assimilation = This is an involuntary process of cultural assimilation which basically shows a complete disregard of one’s ethnic and cultural background and the expectation that a person becomes like the culture they live in, in it’s entirety. To put it in simple terms, “do as we do, and you will fit in”, “be like us in every way and you will fit and prove you belong”. (real statements from my story).
All of us assimilate to some degree, some more than others.
When we take into consideration expectations in a culture, we redirect forced assimilation and not only experience better dialogue with those different than us, but we become companions for those struggling to fit and belong.
My guest today is Sanchiyta K. Although her story started in Punjab, she is now a resident of Bangalore, India where she is an Image Consultant and Certified Soft Skills Trainer.
So often it is difficult for many of us to make certain decisions because we hold to the expectations in our cultures with higher regard. Because those expectations are deeply ingrained in us, we find it difficult to separate from them in order to achieve the life we want. Be they direct or indirect messages, expectations from family members or perceived cultural norms.
Here’s to Growing Forward Together in our cultural understanding of one another.