Cultural awareness author, Victoria Ugarte warns that a continued lack of cultural awareness by foreign troops in Afghanistan will only escalate current hostilities, put more lives in jeopardy, and keep foreign troops from achieving their goals. Western troops on shortened tempers due to Ramadan and the oppressive August heat, the Afghan government complains that foreign troops continually ignore key aspects of local culture. Cultural awareness author, Victoria Ugarte warns that continued ignorance of Afghanistan’s values, norms and practices will only serve to escalate hostilities and keep the troops from achieving their goals of partnering with Afghan soldiers and securing the local population.
While foreign troops accuse Afghan soldiers of incompetence, laziness and corruption, the Afghan government continually sites examples of insolence by foreign troops towards local customs as the key to rising local resentments. The Pashtuns in Afghanistan, the largest ethnic group, are renown for their deep sensitivity towards their religion and their highly conservative culture.
Victoria Ugarte, author of book Culture Savvy For Women, says, “A person’s moral, religious and philosophical values and practices are at the very core of their culture...The only way to break through this impenetrable wall of prejudice is through awareness, empathy and respect, and preferably instigated by the guests of a hosting culture.”
Ugarte offers some important cultural awareness tips for Afghanistan:
As a last word, Ugarte adds, “When people make a connection on a cultural level, empathy is established and an openness and trust is introduced into the relationship. Once trust is established, people start recognizing the similarities in each other rather than focusing on the differences...The cultural awareness strategy of the foreign troops in Afghanistan, or lack thereof, can end up dictating whether this happens or not.”
About The Author: Victoria Ugarte, the Intrepid Traveler, is becoming known around the world as one of the most recognized faces of travel and culturally correct behavior. Victoria has authored several books with Amazon, including “Culture Savvy For Women” and “Travel Bible For Women”. You can find Victoria, wherever she is in the world, by going to http://www.ExploreMyWorldTravel.com.
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