Art as an Expression of Culture
Art in all its forms and shapes is the ultimate expression of culture, and as such, a powerful way to understand society. Literature, poetry, music, dance, painting and theatre, to name a few, reflect the authentic nature, the idiosyncrasy as well as the history of a community. They are different manifestations of thinking, creativity and identity that help understand and communicate with people from a determined place/country.
Any nomadic individual, that travels or moves from place to place because of work or personal reasons, should value the importance of art as a mechanism to better assimilate and integrate into their new destination. Getting involve with art; either by reading local literature, visiting a history museum or a crafts market or attending a folkloric festival is a great way to get familiar with the local culture when settling in a new country. In other articles, we recommended expats and their families to learn the local language, to get immerse in local society, to participate in community activities, as well as to volunteer their time as ways to adapt to their new home. Getting involved with local art is another effective mean to grow empathy and understanding towards the host culture.
Modern or contemporary local artists tend also to express the current feelings and inclinations of the community and their art is a useful vehicle to understand politics, current events, societal trends, and locals’ dynamics.
The positive element of learning and understanding local culture through art is that it involves a dynamic process that do not necessarily requires lots of effort or a high budget. It is indeed, an efficient and entertaining fashion of getting familiar with the local culture, while fostering personal growth at the same time.