In What Ways Does Travel Help to Promote Understanding and Communication Between Countries?
Nowadays, travelling is one of the most important forms of international relationships. It’s also an effective method of cultural enrichment of different civilizations. Centuries ago, when travelling to other countries was a great privilege of a few representatives among a numerous number of people in each society, many people couldn’t understand the peculiarities of other nations. Some of them even didn’t know about the existence of other countries’ members. That ignorance served a bone of contention at many issues, disputes and suggestions. It also led to international conflicts (Veresov, 2005).
The same thing happens to us. Our outlook remains limited if we do not leave the borders of our comfort zone, our home and our country. As if we had lived our whole life in one cozy house and never came out of it. Obviously, if you look at this house from the outside, it will appear to be very different. Living at one place means that we know only one culture and understand the only lifestyle. That brings the idea that travel is a movement (real or virtual) to foreign cultural spaces with the aim of going beyond the limits of existence. It’s also a great method of self-development and one of the most important steps towards the understanding of other cultures, nations and countries politics.
Let’s examine the ways in which travel helps to promote understanding and communication between countries.
Knowing phenomena, events or facts (including language, climate, traditions, rituals, lifestyle peculiarities) about different countries is not always enough to understand not only the culture but also people. Erudition is valuable, but the most important thing includes the understanding of a culture of each country itself as a specific way of people’s living. The culture was never and still is not only the particular lifestyle, but it’s also the sphere in which people live and work.
That means that we appreciate culture only when we are a part of it. We need to be inside of the countries’ customs and traditions to understand the way of thinking and the reasons of making these or those decisions by its representatives (Veresov, 2005).Traveling gives a chance to spend time inside of any culture a person likes to discover. It brings up the cultural tolerance, increase understanding between representatives of different countries (cultures), promote new configurations of social and cultural identities.
At the other side, travel to places you’ve never been to conduces the growth of cultural self-conscious and forms a cultural identity of a traveler. At the same time, it’s also a way to cross-fertilization by means of cultural experience’s exchange.(Leeds, 2002) As an example, let’s examine the attitude of Ukrainian and Russian inhabitants to each other or the attitude of American people to Russian.
Every citizen has his/her own stereotypes that form their position, usually, very contradictive to real circumstances in this or that country. Though, those people who had traveled or travel to the “enemy camp”, changed and still change their attitude to other camp’s representatives. Things that they get to know from Mass Media, are very different from those they see and conceive of their own experience. They break stereotypes only after a time spent in another community. That’s a bright example how travel opens people’s head, brakes stereotypes helps to promote understanding and to find a common language not only at debate questions.
Another important value is that traveling opens new views to the relationships of people in different countries and also gives back grounding to political agreements between different lands. Import and export of different products is based on the needs of each country. These needs come from climate, products which are popular or are represented at that particular land. From that point, a travel is a way of communication between countries (Cherpanova, 2006). As an example, different enterprises study vends and count their benefits and limitations in creating their filial agency at any country. For producing a semi-prepared food, it’s better to choose a temperate climate then tropical one. A waste of money on improved technique and its wear and tear would be much bigger then on import of that production.
At the same time, all intercultural contacts are developing in specific context. All of them represent the idea of searching the strategies of person and social organism’s supplantation. These contacts also help to produce new world’s mode that can achieve firm identification of each person in any society.
At Manila’s conference in 1980 it was mentioned with a white stone that travelling to other lands, which is actually tourism, brings great points to extenuation of international tension, evolution of cooperation and mutual understanding of all countries (Veresov, 2005). Travelling, in general, is treated as essential factor in safeguarding of peace, moral and intellectual foundation of international cooperation. Contracts between tourist companies also give great benefits to countries’ budgets.
In conclusion, travel helps to promote understanding and communication between countries with the help of opening people’s head, braking stereotypes and fears, developing self-identification. It’s an evolution of cooperation and mutual understanding of all countries.
Cherpanova, N.V. (2006). Journey as a method of measurement of cultural spaces. Herald 7 (58), p. 65-70.
Leeds Е. The mind of the traveler. N.-Y., 2002.
Veresov, N. (2005). Kulttuurin ymmartimisen mahdollisuuksistaja keinoista.Kieli-historia-kulttuuri. Yazyk-Istoria-Kultura. Oulun Yliopisto, p. 8-22.
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