Cultures are configurations of symbols and meanings, one of which is language itself (according to Witherspoon). Language serves as an identifying attribute: this is why we can tell the area from where a person originates by their dialects. We have to start by familiarising ourselves with foreign languages and cultures as well as their symbols: this is the only way we recognise the familiar in the foreign and enjoy discovering the foreign in the familiar.

Accordingly, we learn to perceive our environment with greater awareness. To what is perceived, we convey an element from our own self. Our culture is part of who we are and we identify ourselves with this environment. What traits of your culture make you proud?

© Michael Schnieper