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News & Events
Active Older Adults Stay Interested in Learning about a Cultures of the World
Want something else to do to fill in some of that retired lifestyle time? Maybe you could start the New Year at Westminster Village with a new project. Consider learning everything you can about a new or even obscure culture. But, don’t just research it on the internet. Experience it for yourself and add some of the cuisine, traditions or customs into your own life and home.
Your project can be a way to do something new and exciting, but it’s also going to help you better understand the people around you. Around you, as in right next door or down the street, or as in on the other side of the world.
So where should you start if you want to learn about a new culture? Well, it’s probably best to start with a map or an atlas to pick a country or region to study. You might also check out social media sites where people meet and allow you to ask questions. Check with cultural or educational institutions that can point you in an interesting direction. Be self-aware of any preconceived notions or beliefs about your pick that might stereotype or in some way hinder an understanding of the country and people.
This country, the United States, where you live has always been multicultural. Find someone in your own area who might be from your chosen culture and talk with them. Meet her for lunch at one of the Westminster Village dining venues or invite her over for a snack and listen while they talk about their culture. Take a class at the University or sit in on a workshop for cultural understanding that can give you some insight for the country. There are always lots of videos and travelogues in video, audio and book form to pursue as well. In fact, you might be surprised at all the information that is available about the world in the library.
What areas of the culture should seniors want to understand?
Understanding a culture might be as simple as knowing about the traditions and customs of the people or as complex as researching their government, economy, or politics. It depends as well on your own interests, too. Depending on how much time you want to give to your project, you might consider any and all the following:
- Cultural etiquette
- Traditions or customs
- Wardrobe, fashion, and costumes
- Music, theatre and the arts
If you decide you want to visit the country, you might want to know some of the laws and protocols so that you don’t find yourself in a pickle. Even if you don’t travel to your chosen country, you might be interested in how certain laws differ from those here in the U.S.
Keep in mind that everything differs from region to region in a country. Your culture may be very different from those even in another state here in the United States.
Active older adults should experience some of their chosen culture.
Once you’ve learned about your chosen culture, experience it. Cook or eat the food. Attend a presentation of the music or theatre or find examples of the art. Invite your neighbor over for another luncheon and share your newfound information with them to clarify and learn even more. Understanding others is a great way to build community – and have some fun, too!
-Elaine of the Westminster Village Blog Team