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The world has different cultures and understanding the culture of a given society is ideal for enabling one to interact with them with much ease. Cultural awareness allows one to be sensitive when interacting with individuals from a given culture (Tucker, 2009). Being cultural sensitive further entails knowing what a society reveres and what they loathe. Oaten, culture is premised on unwritten rules that both those who identify or associate with culture have to follow to have healthy relationships. This paper discusses cultural awareness of the Philippines.
The Philippines is a country that is located in southern Asia. The Christian Malay constitutes a significant proportion of the population with a majority of the residents and citizens of the country subscribing to the Roman Catholic language and ideals. Additionally, religions in the country include the Buddhist, Protestants and the Muslims. Filipino is the predominant language that is used in the country with English being the official language that is used by the government departments and for all commercial transactions in the country (Gregg, McDonogh & Wong, 2015). However, there is a cropping culture amongst the Filipinos where they prefer to use both Tagalog and English when speaking, particularly to their peers.
Family values are a concept that is integral to the Filipinos. The value for the extended family is of critical importance to the culture. Relations are revered within the family level and through honorary structures in the society. The immediate family members, aunts, cousins and the grandparents are critical in the culture of the Philippines. Examples of the honorary relationships that the culture would promote include the godparents, especially those that one finds through the church, family friends, and the mentors. The attachment to the family is an additional consideration that would guide one into having the requisite qualification for a job. The feelings of nepotism are not entrenched within the culture of the Philippines as a family is a basic unit through which one could gain basic privileges in the society.
Ethics is an issue that is revered within the society. Engaging in an activity that is not ethical is perceived as bringing shame to the family and the individual who perpetuates such immoral act. The behavior of a Philippines is preceded by the evaluation of Hiya, a term that brings about the concept of shame in the society. The societal norms have to be adopted by all, and the actions of any person have to be in line with what the society establishes as being ideal. Shame is a source of low self-esteem. A notable example is when an individual life an expensive lifestyle that results in him or her, not meetings his or her basic needs such as food. Based on the value, the majority of the citizens are content with their ways of life.
Greetings are also an issue that is revered in the society. Greetings follow a formal process with one requires greeting the eldest persons. At times the greetings begin with the most important to the least important person. The most formal greeting is the firm handshake and smiling while looking straight into the eye of the individual that one is greeting. Such is a sign of respect. However, the formal greetings could be relaxed to the persons who are friends or those with very close relationships. Those with close relationship have the discretion of hugging each other. Calling one with his or her official names is an additional consideration that the culture promotes.
Dining is an issue that the Filipinos tend to hold dear with everyone expected to keep the dining etiquette. Some of the considerations include arriving early for any dinner appointment. All foods need to be taken together by all the family members including the people who are invited for the meals. Complementing the host who has prepared the dinner is another form of etiquette that one has to exude. Notably, there is need also to send a written thank you note to the host after some time, as it is seen as a sign of gratitude. On the dining table, there is need to wait until the host makes the invitation for people to come to the table and have a meal. Additionally, the seating arrangement is also determined by the host. The serving of meals is based on the family model here the oldest person in the family is the first to be served. The primary eating utensils that are often preferred during meals include the fork and the spoon, and one needs to examine host the host holds them before their use.
The building of relationships is an issue that the Filipinos tend to hold in the highest regard. For any stranger seeking to have a business relationship with a Filipino, being introduced by a person who knows the potential business associate would be ideal in affirming such arrangement (Guillermo, 2011). The business relationships that one develops could also tend to have positive effects on the growth of an organization. Formal appointments are also necessary amongst the Filipinos, and the prior appointment would be ideal. Face to face, the meetings tend to have a preference as opposed to other channels of communication such as sending e-mails. However, before the meeting, there is need to have a defined the agenda that would enable ease of communication. During the formal gatherings, there is a higher likelihood that one could be invited for a meal. Etiquette would call for the individual to accept the offer of the meal and set the precedence for the formal engagement. How one dresses is also ideal in the course of the business engagement. Being conservative is the most preferred method of engagement.
In conclusion, cultural sensitivity in the context of the Philippines would require one to understand the language, eating habits, dressing, social structure, family structure and business engagement. Generally, the majority of the residents in the country are happy with Christianity being the most dominant religion in the country. The older people are respected in the society for the advisory to the young and even play the role of swearing against illness with the younger people, especially in the rural areas believing in their superstition (Wiley, 2011). However, the native Filipino culture has been watered down by that of the Americans. Such is about the urban life of Metro Manila which tends to imitate the dressing style and the foods that are consumed by those in the west. The friendly people in the country tend to draw the investors and those who seek to work in the country. Generally, the citizens of the country embrace nonnatives as evidenced by the lack of xenophobic attacks in the country.
Gregg, R., McDonogh, G. W., & Wong, C. H. (Eds.). (2015). Encyclopaedia of Contemporary American Culture. Routledge.
Guillermo, A. R. (2011). Historical dictionary of the Philippines. Scarecrow Press.Toronto Plymouth, UK
Tucker, S. (Ed.). (2009). The encyclopedia of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars: a political, social, and military history (Vol. 1). ABC-CLIO.
Wiley, M. V. (2011). Filipino martial culture. Tuttle Publishing. Toronto Plymouth, UK
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