My feeling for cultural competence is to improve people’s awareness, to be open and respectful of different cultural viewpoints, to enhance cultural security and to work for equal opportunity. Relationship building is important for cultural competence and is built on the basis of the shared know-how. The value of respect for diversity and of integrating a variety of cultures in primary childhood education and care programmes, has been recognized for a long time (Prior et al., 2016). Cultural competence is underpinned by trust, equality, tolerance for diversity and social justice. Culture is an essential building block of distinctiveness and growth of a solid cultural identity is fundamental to the healthy sense of the people about where they belong as well as who they are. I feel I am culturally competent and that is why I can comprehend, converse with as well as effectively intermingle with people from diverse cultures (Prior et al., 2016). This is because I have the values or a culturally competent person. These values are the ability to be aware of other people’s world view, having a positive attitude to cultural differences, possession of the knowledge of diverse worldviews and cultural practices and lastly, emerging communication skills as well as intercultural interaction.
I chose the Ethiopians of Africa for my diversity project as I was much more interested in learning more about them. This is a group that I have been listening to stories about, and they got a significant space in history. I wanted to know more about their dignity of Ethiopian people, families as well as the communities(Zastrow, 2011). In addition to that, I wanted to know more about their organizational roles, which include direct service providers, change agents, and administrators. I wanted to have a glimpse of how the Ethiopian people relate to each other, their religion, their leadership and the impact that was left behind by Emperor Haile Selassie, the conduction of business and how they receive and treat their visitors. In my project made me know that most of the Ethiopians are Christians with nearly half of the population belonging to the Orthodox Church (Zastrow, 2011). I also discovered that despite most of the population being Christians, there are also many people who are Muslim. On family, the extended family always remains the concentration of the communal system. This comprises of relatives as well as friends who are close to the family members.
Also, my area of interest was about then Ethiopians etiquette. My project helped me to discover that greetings among Ethiopians are well mannered and quite formal. They greet through a handshake and always maintain eye contact (Prior et al., 2016). This handshake is somehow lighter than in the western cultures. Moreover, I was interested in dining etiquette and gift-giving etiquette which made me learn that like other ethnic groups and communities, Ethiopians have different occasions that involve giving out gifts as well as the dining manners that should be adhered to. Awards are given out when there is an important celebration that brings them together (Zastrow, 2011). Anything presented is always received warmly, and it does not have to be a too expensive gift as this will be viewed negatively. Lastly, I discovered that Ethiopians are hospitable people and they are always ready to invite and share with friends in their homes.
The entire highlighted above are the main reasons as to why I chose the Ethiopian ethnic group to carry out my research on. It was one of the best encounters in my academic work to have a chance to tackle the most interesting topic like this which has enriched me with great and new information
Prior, E. E., Williams, D. J., Zavala, T., & Milford, J. (2016). What do (not) American undergraduate social work students learn about sex? A content analysis of sex positivity and diversity in five traditional HBSE textbooks. Critical Social Work, 17, 55-73.
Zastrow, C. (2011). Brooks/Cole Empowerment Series: Social Work with Groups: A Comprehensive Workbook. Nelson Education.