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Mckay On Culture

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“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots” stated by Marcus Garvey. It is to one’s personal interpretation whether or not culture plays a factor in how one views others. Although some people argue that culture does not greatly affect how one views others and the world because one may have different personal insights that may not take cultural aspects into account; however, many insist that culture has a large impact on how one perceives others’ culture and the world because everyone is raised knowing only one culture, limiting one 's views to their culture. One factor that influences how people interpret others and the world is language. Knowing only one’s language provides some…show more content…
People cannot truly understand somebody without learning their language. People who speak the same language dialect have a greater understanding of one another, as opposed to people who speak opposite languages. One idea that supports this claim states, “As we uncover how languages and their speakers differ from one another, we discover that human natures too can differ dramatically, depending on the languages we speak (Boroditsky, 1).” This emphasizes the viewpoint that culture does, in fact, influence the way a cultural aspect, such as language, plays an important role in the understanding of others and the world. Mckay stated in A History of Western Society, “At the beginning of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, most Europeans would have thought of Africans, if they thought of them at all, as savages because of their eating habits, morals, clothing, and social customs and as…show more content…
People who only possess the knowledge of their culture can potentially view other cultures as alien-like. In An Indian Father’s Plea, Lake states, “It takes a long time to absorb and reflect on these kinds of experiences, so maybe that is why you think my Indian child is a slow learner” (Lake, 77). In this case, Wind-Wolf’s teacher only possesses the knowledge of her own culture, prompting her to view Wolf as a foreigner. This emphasizes that one must have an understanding of one’s culture to be able to interpret others and the world. Without this understanding, one will misinterpret others just how the teacher was not able to adapt to the child’s cultural differences in the quote. Another idea that further proves this point states, “Premila said, ‘We had our test today, and she made me and the other Indians sit at the back of the room, with a desk between each one.’ ‘She said it was because Indians cheat,’ Premila added. ‘So I don’t think we should go back to that school’’ (Rama Rau, 35). This further indicates the importance of acknowledging others culture’s to understand individuals and the world. Instead of the teacher being able to adapt to the cultural differences that these children had, the teacher bases her thoughts on unfair cultural stereotypes. With the knowledge of the Indian culture, the teacher would have been able to have a deeper understanding of
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