Respect Cultures & Communities

Look, Listen and Learn about Cultures and Indigenous Communities

Sustainable travel tourism, learn, respect cultures, communities, Indigenous

Look, Listen and Learn about Cultures and Indigenous Communities

 

One reason people choose to travel is to experience new cultures, engage with other cultures and traditions they’re normally accustomed to. In doing so broadens your knowledge and understanding of the world around you, by learning from others and how they live their life and how they grew up.

When exploring a region or a city, seek to find out more about the cultures of the place and any indigenous communities which currently live there, or have lived there in the past. Try to find an authentic means of learning more about the culture or community, rather than simply a cultural show demonstrating local performance. Seek to find local people, whereby you can learn from and understand the heritage. You could possibly even implement some learnings back at home like cooking techniques, building and maintaining home grown veggie gardens.

To increase your awareness of cultures and indigenous communities, you could listen to native people and elders on how they grew up and what life was like for them, and how their lives have changed over the years. Spend the time to learn about their history, which could be confronting and raw with colonialisation, genocide and war, yet is crucial in understanding communities as a whole.  

If you’re exploring rural areas, you could ask farmers if they’d be willing to show you their farming processes, as well as how they care and look after their land, to ensure longevity of the soils for sustainable farming practices. You may even have the opportunity to purchase some fresh produce to eat or take back to your accommodation to prepare a meal with. 

Simply stopping to truly listen to people has a profound effect on others, showing genuine interest can boost morale and shows respect. Even if you don’t speak the same language, watching and trying to engage, plus showing your openness to learn goes a long way. Plus a simple smile and gesture of a thank you shows appreciation in any language. 

Always be sure that the host or person demonstrating is comfortable with you being there watching them, and you have permission to do so. Encroaching on their land or space is encroaching on their privacy and should be avoided at all times.

Remember to try to Look, Listen and Learn about Cultures and Indigenous Communities when travelling our globe.