Most of us eat the same roti and rice every day, dress more or less the same way, enjoy the same kind of art, and celebrate the same festivals every year. While all of this is this is very joyous and we take pride in embracing our cultures, it is not as exciting because somewhere all of this becomes monotonous.
Practicing the same cultural norms can become a little bit boring at times since it leads to the uniformity of lifestyle. This is when we look for something new, something different, food items that we have never tried, clothes of a new style, different forms of art to entertain ourselves, new places to visit with our friends or maybe a new hairstyle to change our look and whatnot. In a multicultural world like ours, so many people spend their whole lives, living in a place, and practicing the same culture when the world has so much more to offer.
There are thousands of cultures in the world all with varying traditions, religious beliefs, customs, delicacies, attires, literature, art forms and languages. For xenophiles, the idea of knowing about so many diverse cultures of the world is exhilarating and very fulfilling. Every culture comes with its own set of social etiquette and manner of greeting. In India, one might join both hands and say ‘namaste’ to greet their elders, in European countries like Spain where people are known for being loud and friendly, the common way of saying hello is by kissing a person on both cheeks. This might be totally frowned upon in the middle east Asia where people place their right hand on their heart while greeting someone warmly or kiss the forehead while greeting a dear elder person.
This brings us to the diversity of food that the world has to offer. It doesn’t just vary from using chopsticks for eating your food to using your hands alone to eat food from banana leaves instead of plates. Most of us have tasted or at least heard of the popular dishes of the world which have now become international and hence commonly available like burgers, pizza, donuts, pasta, cupcakes, sushi, tacos and noodles. What about the lesser-known cuisines of the world which offer some unique flavors, combinations of spices and so many mouth-watering dishes? Different parts of the world have different delicacies which one simply cannot miss out on and must try if he or she appreciates good food. In France, people have wine and cheese tastings after meals to just enjoy and embrace the variety.
The architecture of a place, the art forms, the legends of culture, all vary with geography and distance. The Greek temples, pyramids of Egypt, the forts in India, the museums in France and Italy, all of this adds to the much charm and uniqueness of these places and are a cultural reflection of the history and life of people who practice these particular cultures. While we grew up listening to instances from epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, we can only wonder what kind of stories and legends the children of the world grew up listening to. In India, we have seen and admired the beauty of many art forms like Bharatanatyam, Ghazals, Madhubani art, etc, but there are so many art forms like Flamenco, Operas, African cave art and so much more that we have never experienced the beauty of or in fact not even heard of, except maybe in movies.
Knowing about different cultures and experiencing them not only satisfies our curiosity and breaks away from monotony but also leads to acceptance of our differences gracefully and awareness about the world, how people across the world have different religious beliefs, different superstitions, different ideas of freedom, modernity and divinity. The diversity of these cultural elements is probably why travelling is becoming an increasingly popular hobby and source of entertainment because what better than swimming in the multicultural pool of the world.