Preventing war with words


FORT KNOX, Ky.– Language and cultural barriers keep us from understanding and appreciating the world around us. What seems to us like a worthless flooded swamp is a field of cultivated rice to someone else. That feeling we get when our personal space is severely invaded isn’t universal — it is how other people greet and connect. And while we would consider a belch during or after dinner as bad manners, in other countries it is a sign of appreciation for a very good meal.

But more than that, it is those barriers that can keep people from achieving something as simple as a decent living, and in some areas of the world it keeps people from understanding that Americans aren’t really the bad guys.

Enter CULP — the Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency program — and the Army ROTC cadets who are participating in this program throughout the spring and summer months. They are one of the resources used by Department of Defense (DoD) to assist less-developed countries, exchange language and cultural experiences, and build better relationships in these areas.

For more on this story visit http://www.usaraf.army.mil

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