Travelling around the world and meeting different cultures might become addictive as it gets one out of their comfort zone and gives them the fragrant taste of freedom. It pushes one's limits and expands their perspective. It enables one to get in touch with their self and teaches one how to appreciate life. However, learning about and experiencing different cultures makes the learning experience more enjoyable and absorbing. Humanity is composed of different cultures that are defined by the geographical difference, food, beliefs, religion, clothing, values, codes of communication, and common expressions. Thus, evaluating the culture of a particular community helps one to acquire in-depth knowledge of different people living in diverse regions. The paper shall discuss the Kazakh culture of Kazakhstan while assessing the different beliefs and values held by this community that makes it different from other cultures. The study shall involve a qualitative method of data collection using interviews, where an elderly native Kazakh man shall be interviewed to identify what makes up this community, and the difference observed through the verbal and non-verbal communication. From the interview conducted, one finds out that the Kazakhs culture is chiefly influenced by their nomadic lifestyle. One also understands that the Kazakh's lifestyle is in some way related to livestock since animal husbandry was dominant to this community. According to the information received, this culture believed that traditional blessings and curses invoked diseases or productiveness among animals and good morals required one to ask about animal health before greeting a person.
Having grown in American society, I have developed various behaviours that are essentially American. First, America is a diverse state that is made up of different ethnic communities. This culture is characterized by the English language, where the majority of people living in America understands this language. The clothing style is greatly influenced by social status, climate, and occupation (Alesina and Paola, 914). The most common clothing within this community is jeans, sneakers, baseball caps, and cowboy hats and boots. The clothing style is highly influenced by celebrities, media, and fashion. The American food is greatly influenced by the Europeans and Native Americans, where there are various foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, and macaroni and cheese that are commonly recognized as Americas (Alesina and Paola 915).
The American culture has impacts on my perception and the communication style. First, I have a developed perception that most people in the world, regardless of their culture, are able to communicate in English. Since quite a number of the people in the whole of America can understand this language, it is easy to believe that everybody else, regardless of their culture, can communicate in English. Americans are direct communicators, who tend to convey the message verbally, without much concentration on body language (Alderman 201). They are quite enthusiastic, persuasive and assertive in their speech, which might be very different from the communication style of other cultures.
I perceived that the Kazakhs culture is made up totally nomadic people, with no permanent homes, renowned food type, and are poor in communication. This is because, most nomadic cultures have no formal ownership of buildings, and they feed on meet as their staple food. Additionally, I thought that they had poor communication skills since they spent much of their time herding their livestock, which gave them less time to communicate with each other, or a group of people.
- Who are the Kazakhs?
- What makes the culture unique from others?
- What do people from the Kazakhs community consider as morally right?
- What is considered morally wrong from this community?
- What is the main type of food in this community?
- How is religion perceived in this community?
- How do Kazakhs communicate with each other, and strangers?
- What is the community renown for?
From the interview conducted on a Kazakhs man, one realizes they finesse what they are saying to ensure that they deliver the message in a sensitive and diplomatic manner. They protect their relationships, and they respect peoples honor. They speak in a rounded manner, rather than going straight to the point. However, they respond favorably to gentle probing rather than direct questioning. However, they may have impulsive behavior, and they can raise their voices when they want to drive a particular point. They respect hierarchy and a senior is never criticized or contradicted in public. They maintain eye contact and are more observant on body language. Through the interview, one identifies the non-verbal differences among the American and the Kazakhs culture. Although the Kazakhs use common non-verbal cues, they highly emphasize the use of body language as a symbol of active listening, and they use them to describe their statements, which are generally driven in a rounded manner (Yang and Zhang 494). The main barrier to effective interview was language difference as the Kazakh man had a problem in speaking fluent English, and where he used English; his communication was affected by the Turkish accent derived from the native language.
After the interview, I learned that the perception of communication style was wrong. I was able to understand that the Kazakhs are more cautious about what they say, and they drive their point in a more convincing way while maintaining eye contact and respect to the hierarchical order. Moreover, I learned that they have a family structure that is well developed into a family group known as "ata-balasy" which means grandfather's son into one tribe of an extended family (Yang and Zhang 494). The interaction with this culture increased my understanding of the Kazakhs in the way that they ensure they shake hands with people they meet, and if they develop a relationship, especially between the same genders, they do not handshake. Instead, they hug each other. Culture helps one to understand their origin, expectations, and behaviors. Culture builds one identity, which is what makes up a human being. Every individual can be described using their behaviours, which is greatly influenced by their culture. Thus, culture plays a big role in creating one's perception of world events, which eventually shapes their interests, conducts and other characteristics that are fundamentally attached to cultural identity.
In conclusion, the Kazakhs culture is made of a community that is highly founded on hierarchy and patriarchy. The community talks using a rounded communication style, which is sensitive and diplomatic. From the interview conducted, one identifies that the Kazakhs are one of the respectful cultures, which values friendship and ties. Evaluating the Kazakhs culture helps one identify some of the characteristics associated with this community that makes it different from other communities in the world. Thus, the study on this culture increases the understanding of the impacts of culture on an individual's behaviors, thus eliminating the common biases that are alleged to a particular culture.
Alderman, Derek H. "Place, Naming and the Interpretation of Cultural Landscapes." Heritage and Identity, edited by Brian Graham and Peter Howard, 2016. Pp. 195-213. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286121765_Place_Naming_and_the_Interpretation_of_Cultural_Landscapes
Alesina, Alberto, and Paola Giuliano. "Culture and Institutions." Journal of Economic Literature 53.4, 2015, Pp. 898-944. Retrieved from: https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/27759053/cultureandinstitutions_jel_2014.pdf
Yang, Jingjing, Chris Ryan, and Zhang Lingyun. "The "Culture Broker" as Performer: Tuva and Kazakhs "home visits" in Kanas, China." Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research 19.5, 2014, Pp. 493-516.
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