If you haven’t experienced these 10 things, you’re not as cultured as you think

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

So, you think you’re pretty worldly? You’ve tried some foreign foods, watched movies from other countries and can even say “hello” in another language.

That’s great, but does it really make you cultured?

We’ve put together a list of 10 key experiences that most cultured people have had.

Don’t worry if you haven’t done all of them yet – there’s always more to learn and explore!

Are you ready to see how you measure up?

Will this list prove that you’re as cultured as you think, or will it inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and discover more?

Let’s get started. 

1. You’ve Experienced Different Cuisines

Being cultured isn’t just about having sushi or pizza, it’s about diving deep into the world of flavors and exploring food from all corners of the globe.

Have you ever tried injera from Ethiopia, or savored the rich, spicy taste of an authentic Indian curry?

What about slurping pho in a Vietnamese market, or enjoying a traditional Moroccan tagine?

There’s a whole world of food out there waiting to be explored.

And remember, being cultured means more than just eating the food – it’s about understanding where it comes from, how it’s made, and the traditions that surround it.

2. You’ve Engaged with Different Forms of Art

Art is a beautiful and diverse way to understand different cultures, and immersing yourself in it is a surefire sign of being cultured.

This goes beyond just recognizing the Mona Lisa or appreciating a Picasso piece.

A truly cultured person has experienced art in its many forms around the globe.

Have you visited the street art murals in Mexico City, or admired the intricate tapestries in Turkey?

Have you ever seen a Kabuki performance in Japan, or a ballet at Russia’s Mariinsky Theatre?

The world of art is vast and varied, so why not explore an art form you’re not familiar with?

You might find yourself pleasantly surprised!

3. You’ve Explored Different Languages

Becoming familiar with different languages is a big part of being cultured, and it’s more than just memorizing a few phrases to get by on your travels.

Learning a language can open up a whole new world of understanding and appreciation for other cultures.

A few years back, I decided to learn Spanish. At first, it was about practicality—I wanted to navigate easier in Spanish-speaking countries.

But as I dived deeper, it wasn’t just the language I was learning. I began to understand the culture, the customs, and even the way of thinking in these countries.

I found myself enjoying Spanish music more, understanding and appreciating their literature, and even laughing at their jokes.

It was a journey that expanded my cultural horizons far beyond what I had initially imagined.

4. You’ve Delved into World History

Understanding and appreciating world history is a cornerstone of being cultured.

It’s not just about knowing the major wars or world leaders, but understanding how civilizations have evolved, the interconnectedness of societies, and the impact of historical events on the present day.

Did you know, for example, that the Great Wall of China is not a single continuous wall, but a collection of walls and fortifications built over many centuries?

Or that the city of Rome has been continuously inhabited for over 28 centuries, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe?

Studying world history not only provides context to our present day world but also deepens our understanding and respect for different cultures.

So next time you have some spare time, why not pick up a book or watch a documentary on world history?

You might find it more fascinating than you think. 

5. You’ve Made Friends from Different Cultures

One of the most beautiful aspects of being cultured is the ability to connect with people from all walks of life.

It’s not just about saying you’ve met people from different countries, but it’s about forming genuine friendships that allow for a mutual exchange of cultures, ideas, and experiences.

Remember, every person you meet is a window into a new world.

They bring with them stories of their homeland, their customs, and their unique perspectives.

These friendships can potentially broaden your horizon in ways you never imagined.

Perhaps you’ve shared a meal with your Indian friend during Diwali or experienced the joy of a traditional African dance at a friend’s wedding.

These are moments that touch your heart and stay with you for a lifetime.

They teach you more about the world than any book or documentary ever could.

6. You’ve Read Literature from Around the World

There’s nothing quite like diving into a book that takes you to a different place, time, or perspective.

As an avid reader myself, I can tell you that reading literature from different cultures has been an enriching and enlightening experience for me.

I remember when I first read “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

This masterpiece from Colombia didn’t just introduce me to magical realism, but it also gave me a glimpse into Latin American culture and history.

It was like stepping into a different world, seeing life through different eyes.

Reading international literature helps us understand others’ thoughts, feelings, struggles, and dreams. It builds empathy and broadens our worldview.

7. You’ve Experienced Culture Shock

If you’ve never felt like a fish out of water, struggled to figure out local customs, or faced language barriers, then you might not be as cultured as you think.

Experiencing culture shock is a key part of the journey.

Culture shock isn’t just about feeling uncomfortable or out of place in a new environment.

It’s about coming face-to-face with your own assumptions and biases.

It’s about realizing that your ‘normal’ isn’t the world’s ‘normal’.

It can be disorienting, confusing, and even a bit scary. But it’s also an incredible opportunity for growth.

So if you’ve ever been lost in translation, wrestled with chopsticks, or committed a cultural faux pas without knowing, don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s all part of the process.

Remember, being cultured isn’t about being perfect—it’s about being open, curious, and willing to learn from your mistakes.

8. You’ve Celebrated Different Holidays and Festivals

Engaging in different cultural celebrations is a vibrant way to immerse yourself in global traditions.

It’s not just about enjoying the festivities, but also understanding their significance and the history behind them.

Did you know, for instance, that the world’s biggest food fight takes place at La Tomatina festival in Spain, where thousands of people throw over-ripe tomatoes at each other?

Or that during the Hindu festival of Holi, also known as the ‘festival of colors’, people throw colored powders and water at each other to celebrate the arrival of spring and victory of good over evil?

Participating in or even just witnessing these diverse celebrations can give you a unique insight into different cultures and their customs.

9. You’ve Engaged in Meaningful Conversations with Locals

I believe that one of the most rewarding aspects of being cultured is engaging in sincere, heartfelt conversations with people from different cultures.

It’s about listening to their stories, understanding their perspectives, and connecting on a personal level.

I remember once, during a trip to Greece, I struck up a conversation with an old man in a small café.

We talked about everything from Greek mythology to the country’s financial crisis.

Even though we came from different backgrounds and lived completely different lives, for those few hours, we connected as human beings.

It was an enriching experience that taught me more about Greek culture than any guidebook ever could.

10. You’ve Acknowledged and Addressed Your Own Cultural Biases

Being cultured isn’t just about what you know about other cultures, it’s also about understanding your own.

It’s about recognizing your cultural biases and working actively to challenge and overcome them.

We all have biases, whether we’re aware of them or not. They’re the result of our upbringing, our environment, and our experiences.

But being cultured means acknowledging these biases and making a conscious effort to keep them in check.

This isn’t an easy task. It requires self-reflection and honesty. It might even be a bit uncomfortable confronting those parts of yourself.

But it’s an essential step on the path to becoming truly cultured.

So take some time to reflect on your own cultural biases.

Are there any assumptions or stereotypes you need to challenge? Are there any cultural blind spots you need to address?

The journey towards being cultured is not just about exploring the world, but also about exploring yourself.

In Conclusion

How many have you checked off? Remember, this isn’t a definitive list or a test—it’s just a fun way to reflect on your experiences and maybe inspire you to step out of your comfort zone.

After all, being cultured is a lifelong journey filled with endless learning, exploration, and self-discovery.

So embrace the journey, and keep adding to your cultural treasure trove!

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

If you display these 10 behaviors, you’re being narcissistic without realizing it

If you notice these 11 signs, you’re dating an exceptionally loyal man