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Implications of Comparative Study of Culture

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EDD 527- Comparative Study of Culture

Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of Indian independence movement, once said, "A nation's culture resides in the hearts and soul of its people". It is because culture is a way of life of a group of people--the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next.

The identity of a nation is reflected on its culture as shaped by its history, defined by its current state, motivated by its dreams and aspirations and guided by its ideals and principles. Hence, culture reveals a country's past, present and future as well as its philosophies.

In this course, Comparative Study of Culture, EDD students had a glimpse of the culture of countries such as South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Singapore, India, and Norway in terms of historical background, language, family, norms, values, cultural practices, government and politics, art, food, religion and education and compared each of them with that of the Philippines.

Through class interactions, presentations and reports, this program provided background knowledge of the historical development of each of the said countries and how this affects their present way of life. For example, countries like Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam have a multicultural society because they have been occupied by different nations or races; hence, their cultures are greatly influenced by their colonizers. On the other hand, Thailand was not colonized by any other country so it has a unique culture that its people can truly call their own.

Consequently, a nation's past also greatly influenced its education. For instance, Singapore was part of the British colonial empire in 1820's that's why its educational system was after British education and the variety of English language used is based on British English. On the other hand, Philippines was under United States control in early 1900's so its educational system was after American education and the variety of English language used is based on American English.

This subject also helped in gaining more knowledge and deeper understanding of other countries' cultural practices, values, norms and traditions. Definitely, insights from this course serve as guide posts in dealing with people from different countries that lead to having better interactions with them.

Comparison between and among different social institutions like family, educational organizations, religious groups, government and political system of the abovementioned countries also helped in identifying each nation's strengths and weaknesses. Oftentimes, Filipinos fall into the trap of replicating



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