Bridging Cultural Divides with Modern Tech
Most people who want to experience new and exciting cultures will go on holiday to a far-flung part of the world. Those who like to travel around get to meet a few people, delve into the culture, food, and atmosphere, and then come back home having grown a little. For many people in the UK, cities, towns, villages, and workplaces are becoming more diverse, which is a great thing for social enrichment and the country as a whole.
In 2018, nearly 14 per cent of the UK population hailed from an ethnic minority background, with Asian ethnic groups making up around 7.5 per cent of the population. The fact that nearly 40 per cent of leading cultural figures in the UK are from minority ethnic or migrant backgrounds shows that the contributions of people from diverse groups are particularly significant.
Still, it’s not uncommon for people around the country or in lines of business to feel cultural divides between peers, which can be difficult to overcome. This also goes for long-distance personal and business relations, with a Zoom call only being able to do so much to make these key connections. Luckily, there are many tech solutions to help as well as major tech companies diversifying themselves to make the process enjoyable and easier.
Language learning made convenient
Without a doubt, the most straightforward way to bridge cultural divides is to pick up some of the language of the culture that you seek to connect to. Even if you only get the fundamentals down, you can often find friendship when asking questions to improve on this base level of effort. More than anything else, people do appreciate the effort. The main problem is that learning a new language can be a hefty task.
There are plenty of popular options out there than make the whole process much easier and even gamified. Duolingo is the most high-profile one, but it builds your language skills through the basics and up, which won’t always help in everyday or business situations. A great UK startup, which landed over £11.5 million in Series B funding, helps to speak casually in a new language. That app is Memrise, which teaches you useful everyday life phrases through video clips of real locals. Plus, it has the gamified tests that learners love.
Incorporating other cultures into entertainment
Entertainment has a great way of teaching us a bit of language, points of cultural importance, and cultural preferences and all while you’re immersed in a game, story, or song. One of the great things about entertainment shifting to online platforms is that providers can easily branch out and offer content from further afield. This is likely most accessed through the international movies and international shows selection on one of the biggest streaming providers in the world – Netflix.
As they’ve expanded to new regions, they’ve brought in more content from those new countries. This is becoming a regular feature as platforms that start off in the UK or US and grow into new countries need to incorporate more local products to be appealing. While the classic games hail from mainland Europe and North America, the live casino has now expanded to reach a wider audience with games like Live Teen Patti, Live Dragon Tiger, Live Fan Tan, and Live Arabic Roulette.
Initially, it all helps to bring in more people from different backgrounds and cultures. Importantly, though, these live games are all available to the rest of the audience, too. Some will try them out, discover these great games from other cultures, and further their intrigue and knowledge just a little bit. There’s a lot of opportunity out there for streaming tech like this, as shown by Condense Reality raising some £3.7 million in a funding round, aiming to capture real-world events and integrate them into other applications.
Make the most of the world’s virtual touring opportunities
It won’t beat being there in person, but there’s now a myriad of ways for you to experience the finest of cultural achievements from around the world. The little app Homes by Tinybob is a fun way to explore homes from around the world, play games, create local dishes, and decorate, offering a glimpse at each culture as you go. Then, there are the virtual tours online and in VR, including for the Musée d’Orsay, Seoul National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijksmuseum, and the Amazon. More is on the way, with the VR mobile app created by UK team Musemio seeking to transport users to different points in time around the world for cultural learning.
It’s easier and even more enjoyable than ever to explore, learn, and embrace other cultures through tech these days, and doing so will certainly help to bridge some cultural divides.