The Importance of Cultural Literacy

In the wake of ever-increasing globalization, the world almost seems to be getting smaller. Countless innovations in technology and ideologies have allowed for massive changes in how people do business, communicate, travel, and enjoy themselves. People send and receive products and services all over the world as easily as clicking a link on a computer, and we can correspond with one another instantly from nearly any location. The human race is more connected than ever before, and although there are countless benefits to this evolution, there are some new challenges being faced as well. 

Due largely to the new ease of reaching one another, there is also increased contact between cultures. Although this contact allows for new exchanges of information and ideas, this also gives rise to the potential for misunderstandings when people do not understand another culture. For this reason, the importance of cultural literacy will continue to grow, and we as individuals should consider taking responsibility for our own cultural education. 

Some benefits of being culturally literate include:

  • Improved social interactions and communication ability with others
  • Increased business opportunities and connections
  • A more positive and immersive cultural experience
  • The ability to foster and encourage respectful interaction between cultures

Those who can become knowledgeable about the cultures of those they interact with will arguably be much more successful in their international ventures both domestically and abroad. Furthermore, making the effort to learn about someone’s culture and way of living to better understand and accommodate them is respectful, so by learning more about other cultures the world is being made into a more inclusive place. 

Background on the Emerging Seven

This site has primarily focused on the cultures of the Emerging Seven Countries (E7). Included in the E7 are the countries of Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, and Turkey. The E7 countries are those whose economies are considered to be growing rapidly on the world stage. Moreover, these countries are increasingly being viewed as offering profitable opportunities for those in business as well being appealing destinations for travelers. As their global presence increases it becomes even more important to understand how to successfully interact within their cultures for both business people and casual travelers alike. Furthermore, U.S. interaction with the E7 will increase with time, so now is the perfect time to get ahead in one’s cultural knowledge about these countries.

A Note for the Reader

It should be advised that the cultural information within this page is subject to change in its practicality. Cultures inevitably change with time, and research may become outdated as societies continue to adapt to the situations and values of the present. Readers should therefore think critically about the information they are being presented and acknowledge that the facts they learn are not permanent. The best choice is to attempt to be as informed as one can about cultures of interest with the understanding that there may be holes in their knowledge when one attempts to put their research into practice.

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