Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle

3 Reasons Why You Should Experience Multiculturalism

Learn about the benefits of multiculturalism from one of our own

Have you ever thought of leaving everything you’ve ever known for God knows how long?

I’ve been to many places throughout my 2 decades of life.

I’ve lived in 4 countries, moved out 8 times in a span of 10 years within Jordan, my own country. two of these times were in a different state, that is without mentioning the times I moved out while living abroad. 

Sure, it’s good to live in the same place for most of your life. You’ve formed relationships and memories with a lot of people. You live in an environment in which you’re familiar with its rules, nature, tradition, nature, it becomes a part of you.

As years go by, it’ll become a zone of comfort where there are no challenges. You’ll just view life as either black and white; meaning there’s only one way to be successful or else, nothing would work out. I used to think like this too at some point. But the further I got away from home, the more I realized how wrong I was and that there’s no such thing as “black and white”, it’s a gray area or actually rainbow where there’s much to life than I’ve ever thought, and these are the reasons why:

1/ Broadening your perspective

With late speaker and internet celebrity Adam Mahamed Ismail at Tedx MMU Cyberjaya

There are many things that we perceive about other cultures that aren’t true. For example, when I first started my journey in Malaysia, I expected everyone to have specific physical and facial features. I thought that Malaysia only consists of people from a certain race but I was wrong. I still remember this embarrassing situation when I first came here.

At the beginning of my first semester, I met a girl in class. She looked different than the majority of the students. I was intrigued to know where she’s from, I asked her and to my surprise, she turned out to be a Malaysian. To me, it was quite shocking as in my country, we don’t have much diversity. It’s just one race, mostly one religion and one language.

What I find very interesting about Malaysia is the fact that there’s so much diversity and everyone seems to get along. I would never have imagined that coexistence and diversity could actually be present in such a diverse place.

2/ Polishing your communication skills.

With Praveen Wadalkar. Co-founder and CEO of Techizer Tech Solution Pvt. Ltd.

Sometimes I get lost when I’m communicating with my Malaysian friends. Even though we converse in English, the accent remains strong, and it gets difficult to understand the context. In my culture, we don’t usually switch between languages. In fact, if you do, others might consider it weird.

Anyhow, I think that having such conversations is a great way for me and anyone else to become a better communicator. Not just speaking but listening-wise as well. You’ll process things differently than you used to. Besides that, you’ll pick up a few words here and there which has cognitive benefits.

3/ Self-growth.

With my boss and coworkers in Kuala Lumpur 

Living abroad won’t just teach you a new language, it can make you a better person if that’s what you're pursuing.

Personally, I was not as outgoing as I am now. The idea of befriending others or just communicating with them was intimidating to me ever since I was a kid. I was only comfortable with a small circle of people and I wouldn’t open up to others. However, if you’re going to live abroad for quite some time, networking will help make your life much easier.

One of my close friends not so long ago, helped me keep some of my positions when I went abroad for some time. Just talking with that person helps me learn a lot about the people and how they think here, to which I'm very grateful.

Career-wise, I am currently undergoing my internship where I am equipping myself with new skills and absorbing practical experience in my field of study. PR is not that relevant in my country but I believe that it has great potential. I learned that every company needs branding and no matter how much you pour money into marketing, it won’t really help with establishing your credibility.

Multiculturalism opens the door for all sorts of opportunities and ideas that you won’t be able to come up with on your own. In order for you to reap its benefits, however, you must learn to accept others and let go of your pride.

Marwan Saleh is a guy in his early twenties who’s trying to figure out life. He likes taking long walks in the morning, playing vintage video games, headbanging to rock music, and having lengthy conversations about various topics. The views expressed here are the writer’s own.

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