Today I would like to discuss 5 beliefs to adapt that can support you in becoming a cultural hybrid. So, just to be clear on this, a cultural hybrid is an individual who is able to synthesize the beliefs of his or her culture of origin, with the beliefs of his or her host culture.
1. All beliefs are just that: beliefs
This should be the starting point in developing cultural hybridity. Essentially the argument here is that beliefs are not accurate reflections of reality. Rather, they are assumptions about how the world works that have been created by an individual, or by a culture collectively.
2. Since no belief is the absolute truth, all of them are equally valid
No belief may show us the real, objective truth out there. However, they all may contribute a tiny piece to our understanding of how the world works. Therefore, although our beliefs may seem to contradict each other, this does not mean that one of them is “wrong”
3. Different beliefs exist primarily because of the different environments in which they develop
Culture, and therefore beliefs, are a result of natural selection. Worldviews, values, beliefs, and behaviours develop because they are conducive to the environment in which they are invented. For instance, one reason why harmony and order are such important values in Chinese society is that the geography of the country required them to live in densely populated areas. With so many people living in small spaces, it is important that they maintain a harmonious relationship with each other.
4. Regardless of what belief or behaviour I am adapting, I am doing so because it is conducive to the current environment
As long as I am acting in a way that is the most beneficial to me and those around me, it should be the best possible choice which I have at that point in time. Even if this behaviour is in conflict with one of the values which I am holding, then that is totally fine, as long as this behaviour is congruent with the standards of the environments which I currently find myself in.
5. Rather than having to choose between different values and beliefs, it is possible to reconcile them and to find a third, alternative way
On first view, your values, beliefs and behaviours may seem contradictory. All innovation starts with two ideas that seem to be unrelated, though. It is only through the combination of these ideas that a new, third idea emerges. Exactly the same can be said about belief systems. It is up to the individual to reconcile them in a way something new, and even more beautiful is created.
Lastly, I encourage you to share some of your experiences with us. Are there some beliefs which you had to adapt in order to get a peace of mind in regards to your own bicultural identity? How did you reconcile some conflicting values and beliefs between the two different cultures? Please feel free to share your experiences with us!