Эссе об изучении иностранных языков и межкультурной коммуникации.
Life between two cultures, two worlds, two mindsets.
You need only look around to realize that intercultural communication might be one of the most important skills that you can ever develop in our multicultural world. There is a strong need to overcome racism, ethnocentrism and a feeling of superiority in order to interact with people who represent a wide range of cultural heritages. Although it is not easy to be tolerant of views that differ from your own ones, I have always had willingness to communicate with representatives of other cultures. This willingness has helped me to go through immigration and integration in a new culture.
It is absolutely unbelievable how closely and at the same time tightly my entire life has been connected with an intercultural communication. From the early childhood till today I have been struggling with stereotyping, discrimination and coexistence alongside with intolerant people. I have been observing for many years how horrible can be consequences of a simple unawareness and unwillingness to discover something new in our worldviews and beliefs. My family has experienced a USSR collapse and immigration from one country to another. My life story is not unique, but I know better than others how hard is to integrate in one culture and not to lose your cultural background and values. In this essay I would like to tell how I discovered inside myself an ability to change not only my personal intercultural behavior but also to help discover this ability in lives of thepeople surrounding me.
I was born in Georgia which had always been a part of the USSR before its collapse. My family was forced to move to Russia because of the workplaces shortage and social disturbances which were relevant to (at?) this time. Even though we moved to Russia, we have never lost our roots and have been always proud to be Georgian.
Not a lot of people know how beautiful and breathtaking are Georgian landscapes, how delicious is Georgian national food, how amazing and kind are Georgian people and how diverse and rich are Georgian culture and history. It is not a coincidences that famous Russian poet M.Lermontov spent half of his life admiring Georgian nature and culture. To make a long story short, Georgia is a country with a very rich and diverse heritage.
Despite of its beauty and cultural richness Russian people have always been very prejudiced against all people from the southern parts of Russia. They have been always incited against immigrants and, frankly speaking, nothing has really changed since then. Once I came to Russia I faced an unfair stereotyping and hostility towards my family.
It was not easy at all to overcome all prejudices and integrate in a new culture. A decade later my family has fully integrated in Russian culture, found lots of friends and new interests. However, we have never lost our connections with Georgia. Moreover, we have been trying to raise awareness among our friends and acquaintances of how important it is to have empathy toward foreign and alien cultures, explaining it using the example of my own family. Our life story has acquired a strong interest among my friends and some of them even traveled to Georgia to discover its beauty and culture in person.
After all, it is not a big surprise that intercultural communication is a sphere of my scientific interests. I study intercultural communication, English, German as majors and Spanish as minor and I am planning to pick up more languages in the future. But what the point? I do think that each language has a certain way of seeing the world. When you speak one language then you have a different way of perceiving the world than the speaker of another language. Even very closely-related languages are at the same time two absolutely different worlds. Therefore, choosing only one language would deprive me of the possibility to be able to see the world in a different way. I believe that the monolingual life is poor, sad and a lonely way of living a life. Learning languages makes me a truly happy person.
Verba volant, scripta manent.
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