Learning from one another
“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people”, said by Mahatma Gandhi. Today, the world is turning into a multi-cultural global society. Culture is the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from others. Understanding and appreciating every culture helps in bringing communities together and building diverse relations. Learning about the different values that people possess helps one understand why people do what they do. In this world, with a variety of religions, cultures and ethnicity, it is essential to learn from one another in order to accept and build harmony.
The benefits of learning about different cultures and accepting them help you understand the world better. It can help an individual to embrace ‘other’ people and appreciate them for who they are. It also aids in minimizing stereotypes, overcoming racial and ethnic divisions and enhancing effective communication. For all these reasons, it is important to learn about one another and in return also strengthens you as a person.
We hope that the next academic year helps students feel a sense of belonging
The University Student Council of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a diverse group of individuals belonging to different cultures with different values. Learning from one another through conversations, we realized how important it is to have a sense of belonging and feel accepted in society today. We learnt how individuals like to showcase their culture in different ways be it through ethnic clothes, food, festivals, language, family values or beliefs.
We, together as a council, want to bring more light to the diverse group of different cultures in the university. Different ideas were discussed not just within the council, but also with the faculty councils as well as different students of the university. We thought of a day where students and professors can showcase what their culture means to them through clothes, food and videos which can also be used as a learning material for the other students.
With all these creative and unique ideas, we decided to ask the executive board for a day in the academic calendar where a day is given to ‘culture’ and students can take that opportunity to learn and build interpersonal relations with a diverse group of individuals. We hope that the next academic year helps students feel a sense of belonging.
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