What is cultural competence?
When many people talk about having cultural competence, they come up with some key things that showcase your competency. They are
- respect for difference
- practice curiosity, eager to learn
- willingness to accept there are many ways to view the world
- recognizing & rejecting own pre-existing beliefs about culture
- avoiding over-generalizing or labeling persons
Where do I fit in?
I have worked a lot with children who are adopted. They often look different from their family, but as a “whole” the family unit thinks alike. Many people can relate to being a foreigner, especially if they are travelers. As soon as you start weaving down the aisle of the airplane and hit foreign soil, you look different from the Host country nationalities, and you think differently from them. For many people, we tend to hang around people that are a lot like us. People that look alike and think alike are called “Mirrors” in the PolVan Cultural Identity Model.
I have recently repatriated to the USA. I am a “Hidden Immigrant.” I might look like most of the other women shopping in The Village Market, but I certainly think different from them. When I am looking at the fresh turkey breasts, I am checking the expiration date only because in some of the homes we have lived in abroad the frozen turkeys were often well passed their prime. One year, we were surprised to find a Thanksgiving turkey in May, but under closer inspection, it had been frozen and refrozen on the shelves in Balikpapan, and it was already five months past the expiration date. I am not thankful for ancient turkeys. At Village Market, they are only two days old or less.
What does it mean to belong, to have a home, to know where you’re from? “Neither Here Nor There” is a 35-minute documentary that explores cultural identity for people who have grown up in places other than their home culture, known as Third Culture Kids.
For more information, please visit the website:NeitherHereNorThere-TheFilm.
Here is a nice way to look at identity.What does your identity sound like?
I love this Cultural Competency Continuum
Attitudes and practices (as well as policies and structures in organizations) are destructive to a cultural group.
The capacity to respond effectively to the needs, interests, and preferences of culturally and linguistically diverse groups is lacking.
The predominant philosophy is one that views and treats all people as the same.
There is awareness of strengths and areas for growth to respond effectively to culturally and linguistically diverse populations.
Acceptance and respect for culture is consistently demonstrated in policies, structures, practices, and attitudes.
Culture is held in high esteem and used as a foundation to guide all endeavors