Let’s Talk About Cultural Integrity

By Lana Moline

If you’ve ever taken a spanish lesson in school then you should remember the first two chapters that explain the variances in dialect and the regions where each are spoken.  I will admit that in junior high and high school I was probably a little bored with those chapters but in context, they make perfect sense.  I can say that for all of my years studying spanish, I speak “un poco de espanol” (some spanish) but more than just that, I appreciate the lessons of being true to the culture when speaking by not over-emphasizing or under-emphasizing any of the accents.  It just may sound foolish or even be offensive if those rules are ignored.  The bottom line is:  learn it all correctly, don’t wing it,  or over compensate in any way.

I suppose if there was a manual for life, we would benefit from introductory chapters profiling “do” and “do nots.”  We could flourish by simply understanding the history of why things exists as they do.  We just might be surprised to learn the origin of something that may appear to be extremely negative in modern society.  The bandwagon moves pretty fast sometimes and unfortunately things may get lost in translation.  That is why reading and history are so important.  We can’t just rely on the movie versions or “cliff notes” when we are trying to gain knowledge of a subject or situation.  It is imperative that we start at the beginning and process the evolution step by step.  That’s just wisdom!  I commend my teachers for taking the time to go through those chapters.  That enigmatic lesson also taught me that it is in my best interest each time to learn all that I can about everything because who knows where life may lead.

Thinking in terms of cultural integrity, there are norms both spoken and unspoken.  By spending a little time, asking or studying to understand, we can be clear on why a process is in place.  Often times societal and cultural norms that differ from ours are dismissed simply because they are not understood and when that happens, problems arise.  We can preserve cultural integrity by making sure that we employ synergy in our speech, tone, demeanor and actions.  It all works best and we all get along great when step correctly to one another.  We can not dismiss the other person’s introductory chapters.  Everyone has a few and when we listen closely, we will hear that they are offered freely.

Lana Moline is an integral part of the Blackloveandmarriage.com writing team, freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her atLana Moline Speaks.