By Itiola David
Culture can be defined as the total way of life of a group of people. The values, behavior, beliefs, and norms they accept are passed on to younger generations through active communication and imitation. Culture consist of various patterns and symbols like knowledge, values, skills and motives. People of the same culture have a collective mind that distinguishes them from other groups of people.
Culture explains a theory that human beings has the right to choose their various mode of life. Different cultural groups have different beliefs. A groups’ culture can be a taboo in another’s culture just like the saying another man’s food is another man’s poison. Misunderstanding may occur between people of different cultures and are been settled in different ways among which are negotiations. When different cultural groups experience conflict, negotiations can occur to iron out their differences. Sometimes, this may not work which can lead to permanent differences just like in some cultural groups they do not marry from other groups due to conflicts in past generations which always have their consequences for those who go against it.
Cultural ethnocentrism is a major factor that causes conflict among groups. It is a belief that one’s culture is superior to other cultures. Cultures also has it own levels, like the national level, the regional level, gender level, generational levels, etc. People’s culture can be distinguished from others through their languages, mode of dressing, food type, etc. In Nigeria, there are three major tribes, the Yorubas, the Igbos and the Hausas. The Yoruba’s are the most prominent. Among the Yorubas in Nigeria, men wear agbada with caps while the women tie wrappers with buba. Some parts of the tribe makes tribal marks on their faces for beautification of the face. Also, their food may include amala, pounded yam, fufu, ewadu, okra, etc while the igbos eat oha soup, okazi soup etc. Fura, cheesecake is common in the Hausa tribe.
These researchers argue that consideration of cultural differences is critical when applying observation techniques in cross-cultural research as well as in the applied contexts of performance appraisal and international management. A laboratory study was conducted to examine the potential for discrepancies in observer judgment making among Asian American and Caucasian American subjects. The results of the study affirm the importance of cultural influences in research and management. We need to respect others culture because culture is dynamic. It is addictive. It is also transmittable. Lets learn to maintain and respect our various cultures.