Although a bit exaggerated, one could say that the world is as cultural There are as many languages in the world as there are cultures. Therefore, just as it is possible to learn a foreign language, it is also possible to learn a foreign culture. Some people are motivated to learn a foreign language for a variety of reasons, some are simply gifted, and some are better at learning a foreign language than others. However, the number of languages an individual can learn is limited. People acquire languages from culturally close environments, but that is not a prerequisite. Of course, if one wants to become familiar with another culture, the language of that culture is the gateway to learning about it.

Multikulturní město

At the beginning of this section, I mentioned that it is possible to have knowledge of a culture one did not grow up with. The basic conditions for this are effort and the expression of genuine interest. Unfortunately, however, this is not always the rule when meeting people from different cultural backgrounds. Tensions, misunderstandings, and conflicts arise because there is little effort to listen to and understand each other. However, the effort should be on both sides of the cross-cultural representatives.

The European Union likes to describe itself as a multicultural society open to all cultures. In that space, people from different cultures meet and enrich each other. This is a very ambitious idea. Is it possible? There is no single answer to this, as the willingness of all involved is crucial for this idea to become a reality. However, the more different cultures from each other, the less willing all players are to cooperate; in 2015, Europe faced a huge wave of refugees for a variety of reasons, not least of which was that they were refugees from wars with very different cultural backgrounds. Unfortunately, European society was completely unprepared for this eventuality, and the refugee crisis unfolded accordingly. It was spontaneous and chaotic rather than organized. This led to many mistakes. Unregulated open borders invited not only people in need but also criminal gangs. In addition to war refugees, the resulting chaos, thanks to Europe\’s lack of preparation, was taken advantage of by a variety of other groups. For this reason, security authorities warned that the situation would lead to a worsening of the security situation in Europe. Unfortunately, this warning has been confirmed several times since then. This is despite political declarations.

It is good to present Europe as a multicultural environment, but without certain rules and preparedness, a mere declaration will not achieve this. One hopes that politicians will learn their lessons. Demographers warn about the aging of Europe and its consequences. Immigration may be part of the solution to this problem. But the closer one is culturally, the easier it is to assimilate into a new environment. Of course, this does not mean that people from completely different cultural backgrounds cannot assimilate into their new environment and become an asset to the host culture. It is always and without exception true that the degree of success depends on the efforts of all involved. Turkey and Germany are two examples. After World War II, Germany had a labor shortage. Gradually this demand began to be met by Turkish labor. Turkey, on the other hand, had a shortage of labor opportunities. The mutual agreement between two countries with very different cultures succeeded despite many problems. Both sides made ample efforts to understand each other. They respected each other and listened to each other. This led to mutual benefits. Despite the great cultural differences, mutual efforts resulted in the enrichment of both cultures to the mutual benefit of both sides. Education played an important role in this process. The higher the level of education, the greater the likelihood of success.

Germany was not the only country to face labor shortages after the war. Another example is France. France brought in people from its former colonies to fill the vacancies. Most of them were from various Muslim backgrounds. At first, the project appeared to be at least as successful as in Germany. But then, unfortunately, more problems became apparent than in neighboring Germany, because the immigration policy was weak and the immigration environment was not well managed. In other words, there was not always consensus, and the parties involved did not always strive to understand and respect each other. Therefore, some newly immigrated groups deliberately refused to respect the culture of the host country. They kept to themselves and did not allow outsiders to join their minority group. As a result, so-called no-go zones were created. Or there are often places that do not respect the laws and regulations of the host country and create their own, even if they violate the laws of the country from which these groups came. Sometimes they do not even try to learn the language of the country from which they emigrated. This is, as already mentioned, a basic prerequisite for getting to know one\’s new cultural environment well. Controlled immigration is good for Europe, but we cannot turn a blind eye to the challenges that immigration brings. We cannot solve these problems by ignoring or denying even the problems associated with them, as some European politicians do. 8]

Lidé ve skupině

It is possible to have knowledge of a culture one has not been raised in. In order to avoid being superficial, one must be familiar with the language of that culture. By doing so, one can better understand the mentality and mindset of the people of that culture. I am a guest in a new environment, and therefore I must remember to act with respect and reverence toward my hosts. The closer the new culture is to my own, the more quickly I can gain an understanding of it. This does not mean that I cannot gain knowledge of a completely different culture. It\’s just a matter of how much effort I am willing to put in. In doing so, education becomes a good tool to help me on my path to success.