When People come from different cultures, it means that they have different values, behavior, customs and attitudes. What is believed to be “right” or “wrong” in one culture differs from another, and what is believed to be moral and immoral in one culture also differs from another. Even if you think that one cultural belief is wrong, you do not have any right to judge and say it’s not right.
For instance, when I was 12 years old, my family and I had to move from the U.S to Lebanon. I spent most of my childhood in the U.S and got used to their cultures and traditions, so moving to Lebanon means experiencing new cultural behavior, attitudes and values. Compared to Lebanon, The U.S is considered a country with strict rules and regulations, where for example it is considered rude if your standing in a line to buy a product or service and you start cutting lines to get to the front. Also they have very good systems that people there are gladly to follow.
It was summer time when we first moved to Lebanon, and my Dad and I were standing in line to buy ice cream. Everyone was waiting in line and unexpectedly four random people who seemed as if they were in a rush started rudely cutting lines, and everyone was acting as if it was normal. Suddenly it became very crowded and they took my spot, I started yelling and making a scene how it was very rude of them and they should wait for their turn. They ignored me and continued on as if I did not say anything, and everyone around me started laughing and they did not seem in any way bothered by what just happen, except me. My father explained to me how it is something very normal and I should get used to that, but I just could not agree with him at all. After we settled and begun our lives in Lebanon, I started to realize that cutting lines is everywhere in Lebanon and its something very normal to everyone. I learned that they do not have strict systems and regulations as other cultures do, and everything over there is chaos especially when it comes to driving. People are always in a hurry, so when it comes to driving they have no speed limits and they always try to take your right of way. People in Lebanon are not threatened by police officers when they’re driving, because the police do not give tickets for speeding. Therefore, it is a Lebanese cultural behavior to always be in a rush and create disorder, and although a lot of countries will find it as morally wrong, but Lebanese people will see it as normal.
Having to live in a country with different values, behaviors and attitudes, was at first very hard for me, it took really long time to understand them and to adapt with them. I have experienced cultural relativism, because I assumed whatever is wrong and immoral to do in Canada, should be wrong and immoral in Lebanon as well. I did not know a lot about the culture in Lebanon, and anything about the people’s attitudes, values, and behaviors. I created a scene and judged them about their attitudes and actions, and assumed that someone would agree with me and stop this behavior. However, in Lebanon such actions are considered normal, and if people do not push through to get what they want are just considered weak. Though, after having to live in Lebanon for three years, I learned their culture and started to adapt well with the Lebanese people.
Thanks to this course I now know what cultural relativism is and will know how to adapt better with different cultural backgrounds. If I end up moving to London UK, and encounter a