Learning Outcome #2 – Reflection

Randy Otis
Learning Objective #2 – Reflection

There are many major religions that make up our global community, including Hinduism. In light of much unrest and extremism among the Muslim world, many citizens can have an altered view of a culture. In writing the paper on Kali a popular Hinduism symbol representing rebirth, and visiting the Hindu Temple of Milwaukee I discovered not only a way to better understand a culture, but also a more developed method of communication.
Art and religion is an important facet of a culture, and can represent many different worldviews. As I stated in the paper, art and religion are intrinsic in nature and by having a better understanding of a belief system represented through that art, I can have a better understanding of the people within that system. Art in itself is a strong form of nonverbal communication. If we look at an image of Kali, there are many different symbols that represent and communicate rebirth and opportunities for new beginnings. Some nonverbal communications can be altered between sender and receiver based on previous bias or ignorance. For example, a person, who is unaware of the symbolism of Kali, can see it as a graphic and disturbing image. Through writing this paper, I was better able to understand the impact symbols and art have on communication.
In addition to my knowledge surrounding nonverbal communications, I also learned about opposing worldviews. A worldview is the way the world is seen and is plainly referred to as, “who we are and what we believe.” The image of Kali is a great example of how one worldview differs from the other. While discussing these points in my paper, I was able to better understand what an uninformed person may interpret from this Hindu symbolic image, and what an actual believer would interpret. By having the ability to understand and interpret the belief system, I am better able to communicate not only with Hindus but also with people who may have a skewed perception of the religion itself.
Our world is becoming more than just different sub-cultures of communication. The internet created a push towards a more globalized world, and we are often faced with issues surrounding belief systems and communication. Each group of people has their own set of religious symbols, beliefs, rituals and methods of communication. By writing this paper, I was able to better understand a particular image and culture. By understanding this culture I have become more sensitive to misconceptions surrounding not only Hinduism, but also Muslims, Jews, Christians…etc. Religion is a very sensitive topic and great care needs to be taken to understand the beliefs of particular group in order to better communicate.
As I stated in the paper, each culture has symbols that can be misinterpreted and without prior knowledge, dangerous conclusions can be formed. There can often be a lot of noise involved in cross-cultural communications, and taking the step to understand and perceive the communications being sent is a good first step in moving forward towards communication in a diverse global setting.

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About Randy Otis

My goal is to help everyone understand what i've learned and how i've progressed through different learning experiences at Carroll University.

Posted on December 14, 2012, in Carroll University Portfolio, Fall Semester 2010 - Learning Outcome #2. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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