The Beacon

How you can become a more culturally refined person

Jennifer Boch, Staff Writer

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When you think of someone being culturally refined, you may picture fashionably dressed upper-class individuals discussing art while sipping wine and listening to classical music.

In mainstream society, being cultured is seen as a reflection of other characteristics such as class, education and career.

However, this is a misperception. Anyone can be cultured and while it does require some time and effort, it is worth it. Being culturally refined is having a well-rounded understanding of Western culture and being familiar with different cultures.

It will help you become a better conversationalist and more personable as it allows you to have more information and better understanding of a wide array of topics. This also helps you develop qualities of empathy and tolerance. Therefore, putting in the effort will ultimately be a benefit.

There are four main ways to start your culture journey: Read, watch films and documentaries, listen to new music and travel. There is a popular Western cultural canon that you should understand, which includes specific novels, poetry, music and films. In fact, according to Marelisa writing from daringtolivefully.com, it is recommended that one “read 50 books from the canon of western literature.”

Alongside this, it is also recommended that one develops the ability to identify or “recognize the world’s 25 greatest sculptures.”

Classic works of literature or art are essential as they have withstood the test of time and are still considered relevant to today.

You can start as far back as the Renaissance. If you prefer more recent times then start with modern art movements and classic Hollywood Golden Age movies, like Casablanca or Singin’ in the Rain.

There is something for everyone as the variety of themes is just as vast as the timespan. Music is another important aspect because it mentally stimulates.

Research has been conducted on how different music affects the mind so listening to a more eclectic mix will allow you to exercise different parts of your brain.

Finally, do not be ignorant about other cultures. In the United States, we often have a very self-centered and closed view of the world, although the country is full of different ethnic groups. Explore different communities in your area to get a taste of other cultures and make new connections. Some of these communities are even within Wilkes University, including some students from Panama and Middle East.

The best way to experience other cultures is to travel. This allows you to immerse yourself and step out of your comfort zone, which helps you grow and view the world from other perspectives.

Another interactive way to immerse yourself in learning is exploring museums. Many people view them as boring and stuffy, but once you learn the deeper significance of the objects and exhibits, the experience is what you make it.

Here  at Wilkes  you  have  many opportunities to experience culture and become well-rounded. While general requirements seem like an inconvenience, they allow you to take classes on things you wouldn’t take otherwise, such as Anthropology, Art, or Music.

These classes can ignite additional passions and hobbies you might not have realized before. In addition to classes, there are concerts, theatre performances, and even an art gallery on campus. The Sordoni Gallery is a great place to start experiencing art.

The next exhibit will display Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Syracuse University Art Collection April 2 – May 18. The Wilkes University Theatre department is putting on its last show of the semester the first weekend in April. “The Dining Room” is a sentimental comedy of interrelated scenes that are woven together to tell messages of family, humor, and humanity.

Take advantage of these opportunities and other sponsored trips to experience new knowledge and culture, because it will benefit you in the long run. Besides, you might just enjoy it.

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How you can become a more culturally refined person