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The Meaning of Culture

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By Ralitsa S. (YES 2020-2021, Bulgaria, placed virtually with PAX)

This story was originally published on the PAX website.

Bulgaria through Ralitsa's eyes [image: Destination Management Bulgaria]

Here is a video, which I made with so much love and passion for my home country: Bulgaria. I felt inspired to show you my home the way I see it—how I feel about it. This includes the nature of my country, the people, and also some traditions, which are interesting to me and could be to other people as well. I decided to add all the videos I had from places I have been to in Bulgaria and to show you not only my perspective of my home country but also my perspective of the whole world—through beautiful sights and interesting people and emotions.

I believe “culture” has so much variety, that it is strongly individual for everyone. Some people think of food when they hear this word and some think of their older relatives. That is why I decided to show you my understanding of the word culture.

For me, culture is not only history and traditions but also the land my nation has inhabited for thousands of years. The values the people have decided to keep within themselves with the passing generations. Or the way they are open to other people with different cultures, languages, and routines.

The way I see it, we need to respect our traditions and history, but we also need to be open-minded. We need to be curious about others and how they live all around the world and how they understand life and be ready to share and exchange experiences. After all, this is what life is about, isn’t it? Not living life in boundaries and always doing the same thing over and over, but being open to the unknown and interesting, and being ready to be influenced in a better direction to become a better person.

When I first signed for the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program, I was told something, and I still live by it: “Not better, not worse, just different.”


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