If the ability to understand a culture on

If we look at the world today, we can find a numerous amount of cultures
each with their own set of rules and practices. 
Although different in many aspects, there is a fine line that
distinguishes each culture from the next and within that fine line, there exists
common similarities.  Cultural relativism
is the ability to understand a culture on its own terms and not make judgements
using the standards of one’s own culture where the goal is to promote a better understanding of different
cultural practices.  When using the
perspective of cultural relativism, it leads to the view that no one culture is
superior to another culture and tries to promote the understanding of cultural
practices that are unfamiliar to other cultures.  Negative views towards other cultures stems
from ethnocentrism whereas positive views towards cultures stems from
culturally relativist people.  Cultural
relativism can help us better understand the article “Keeping
culture: On being a first-generation American” by allowing the reader to take
the perspective of Katrina Fadrilan, a first-generation Pilipino American,
putting all biases aside in order to understand her culture in a different
perspective. 

            There
are a lot of things in our society that are accepted and known, but there are
also things present in society that are unknown to many.  Throughout her childhood, Katrina Fadrilan
was ashamed of being Filipino in an American society.  She shared various instances where she was
embarrassed of the language, the food and even her looks.  However, further into the article, we learn
that she is now ashamed to admit her past embarrassment.  “…Growing up as a first-generation
Filipino American, I realized this reality was common among other children of
immigrants” (Fadrilan).  Further
into the article, Fadrilan writes, “along with the irrefutable truth
that America is cultivating a more diverse population, a colorful myriad of
cultures have found a place in this country.”  It is evident that at a young age, Katrina never
felt comfortable with sharing her culture due to the fact that she wanted to
fit it with the other children her age. 
However, as she began to get older, her sense of pride in her own
culture grew stronger.  Although the
theory of cultural relativism is criticized, it is an explanation of why
different societies have different ideas concerning different things and
explains why Katrina’s family does the things they do
whether it be the foods they eat or the languages they speak.  Cultural relativism can help us understand
Katrina’s situation by allowing us to see her progression
from childhood to adulthood in regards to her feelings towards her own
culture.  It helps to put our own biases
aside and put in to perspective that our everyday lives consist of culturally
diverse things including: authentic international cuisines and studying abroad.  If acceptance towards other cultures did not
exist, many people would be unable to travel abroad and learn about the
different cultures that exist in the world today.  Cultural relativism forces the reader to be
open towards Katrina’s experiences as a child and
allows you to see a different culture without any comparison.

            Cultural
relativism is used to promote a better understanding of an unfamiliar
culture.  If we are not open to learning
about and accepting different cultures, we as a society would all end up being
the same and would take away the idea that America is a so-called melting
pot.  Katrina writes, “…my Filipino culture is
an intangible web that ties my family together, even long after we are gone” (Fadrilan).  Perspective is important to our understanding
of different cultures.  Cultural
perspective can help us understand why different cultures act in a certain way
and why certain things are considered either right or wrong. It also shows that
one society or culture has no special status over another and shows that
different customs cannot be considered “correct” or “incorrect” based on other
cultural beliefs.

            In
the end, the article shows the importance cultural relativism has in creating a
sense of “tolerance” for other cultures.  By accepting another culture’s practices and ideas,
this allows for more open views towards different morals, values, practices and
lifestyles which in the end, could decrease inaccurate stereotypes and
prejudice towards other cultures.  The
article allowed the reader to put all biases aside in order to understand a
culture in its own perspective.  Ultimately,
rather than viewing the article in an ethnocentric way, viewing the article
using cultural relativism allows the reader to see the
perspective of Katrina Fadrilan and how when we recognize the many cultures in
the world, and how they differ from our own, we can see that our culture shapes
what we consider to be appealing, beautiful, funny, ugly or disgusting.  It shapes who we are and how we see the
world.