Let’s talk about culture…

A discourse system, in a simplified term would mean a conversation. But the system has a deeper meaning that not only includes conversations but any type of communication. Discourse systems come under different outlines according to specific contexts, which help the general growth of communication ethnographically. Intercultural interactions help us understand individuality, sentiments and other different features that diverse civilizations use to exchange and communicate ideas.

The way we communicate with one another is different depending on where we come from. The use and interpretation of one word varies across cultural environments. Depending on your relation with the sociocultural area you will feel as an insider or an outsider. On my behalf I would say that I am an insider of the Rwandan culture. Though I have lived in different countries, adopted different cultures and interacted with different people, I am internally attuned to the Rwandan culture. Being an insider of the culture allows me to speak with freedom and less anxieties. I am able to give a political opinion, to speculate about the future, the past and the present and to speak for others with whom I share the same culture. An insider has no limits or he only has “natural limits”, natural because they were naturally set by the culture he belongs to.

Cultures can be shown, experienced and tasted but to fully understand a culture and feel as an insider you would need to start by comprehending the local language, then by understanding the discourse systems from the sentiments to actions to finally integrate unconscious habits that come along with the culture. This integration helps reduce trust issues some may have. No matter where we go, as peacebuillders will face trust issues from the people we work with. Doing our best to understand and adopt the culture would ease our goal to reach peace.

 

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