We live in a technologically interconnected world enabling us to instantly interact with people who do not share our cultural space or indeed our values. This situation can be quite bewildering for many because our perception is culturally-coded and therefore we have developed educational tools for acquiring a “transcultural gaze” in order to negotiate and respect other people’s “way of seeing.”
Our transcultural literacy toolkit comprises of three key competencies that will help widen our “gaze” to incorporate cultural perspectives and experiences of others.
The programme is pyramid shaped signifying the hierarchy of transcultural maturity.
• Knowledge about others is a prerequisite for effective communication. Instead of relying on the often-misguided stereotypes or one-dimensional information about other people, it is crucial to be open-minded and acquire well-rounded knowledge about them. It is said that “every coin has two sides.”
• Empathy is in the middle of the pyramid because it is a universal human language and can be extended to include others who are not our immediate family or friends. Indeed empathy is the reason our species continue to thrive.
• Attitude is on the top of the pyramid as it is the choice every one is able to make. Choosing a positive attitude towards oneself and others demonstrates compassionate maturity.