Cultural Sustainability

This is a newer subject of sustainability to most. Not many people consider cultural relationships with achieving a sustainable future because it’s one of those topics that can be easily overlooked. Often we disregard peoples way of life especially when it’s not our own for something we consider more valuable, usually being profit related.

We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.
— Max De Pree

If we want to understand cultural sustainability we should first understand culture, in particular our own. People adopt larger scaled cultural practices along with focalized practices usually according to personal history, background, and self growth. For the purpose of this website however lets look at American culture. There are many subsections that define the American culture depending on where the person is from. East coast culture, West coast culture, Midwest culture, and Southern culture are all very different but still American in their own detailed ways. There are also Americans of mixed ethnicities that in some cases are raised to know traditions and celebrations in the way of other cultures like Mexican, Slovakian, Korean, Italian, Indian, Ethiopian, Brazilian, Portuguese, etc.

Since America is as young of a country as it is, it can be difficult to locate specific cultural traditions but recognizing our own individual cultures can better help us understand how to respect other cultures when they ask for people outside of said culture to refrain from doing something considered disrespectful.

Cultural Sustainability also brings into play the question of cultural appropriation versus cultural appreciation. If you’re interested about learning more about this topic, click the button below to read a well written explanation.

Can we all live amongst different cultures in broad diversity and respect one another? Can we accept each other and stop living in fear, anger, and resentment?

What will it take to get there?

additional Topics Include:

  • Support and Protection of Traditions

  • Solidarity recognition

  • sPACEs (areas of importance)

  • eurocentric beuty standards

  • INDIGENOUS recognition and rights

  • Identification

  • Diversity as Health

Photography by Kaila Berg. Women of Polynesia. Click the button for more of her work.