Barnga Diversity Activity Reflection: Lessons Learned

There were a few lessons I took out of the diversity activity from last week’s class.  First, the exercise helped me realize how powerful non-verbal communication can be.  Since we were not allowed to speak to one another, it forced us to use other forms of communication to help others understand the rules in our particular group.  The main point that I took out of this activity was that my own culture does not work like many other cultures around the world.  Differences may not always be as simple as the way another culture plays a card game but more complex, such as religious and societal differences.

This activity does have some relation to our upcoming trip to South Africa.  As we travel to this new and foreign place, we must understand that there are significant cultural differences we will encounter on our trip.  We must be open and accepting of these differences and embrace the unique opportunity of experiencing a cultural so different from our own.

Another lesson from this activity that can be applied to South Africa is the importance of non-verbal communication.  At some points during our trip there will be a language barrier.  In order to communicate with the people we encounter, we must be able to communicate in a variety of ways.  This is a skill that is necessary not only in travels to South Africa, but other nations across the globe.

The last lesson I took out of this exercise is that we must be accepting of other cultures and learn from the differences between other cultures and our own.  During the activity on Wednesday, I went to another group and played by the rules that they were given, not by my own.  In addition, when new people came into my group, they learned to accept the rules of our particular game.  This is how we should act as we travel into countries with different cultures.  When entering a country with different cultures, we must not be ignorant of the differences, but embrace them.  We must try to act in ways that each unique culture deems appropriate and understand that it may be significantly different from our own views.  This is the most important lesson that I took out of this exercise.

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