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    What are forum members’ experiences, from work in either Australia or overseas, on the relationship between culture and risk.


    Culture and risk relates to many different aspects of behavior, religious believes, communities and how prepared they may be in a crisis.
    No real defining examples but understanding that all cultures have different risks that we all would prepare and have different responses in crisis and disaster experiences. Our social, political and organizational structures play a massive role in this, so to does having cultural awareness and understand dynamics of people groups can determine the input and the outcome in disasters.


    Fully agree with Matt. A very stark example would be the Ebola virus outbreak – it was hard to contain the virus given (a) the heavy importance locals place on burying the dead (hence getting infected themselves) and (b) their distrust of the biohazard-suited healthcare workers trying to prevent that. But culture ultimately affects how we both perceive and this interact with the world – differing cultures will perceive certain risks to differing extents.


    Any other comments from other people on this…?


    The tradition of large number of Muslim Rohingya families is to keep women inside the house out of the sight of men. This traditional practice was difficult and abiding by in the Rohingay camps in Cox’s Bazar was hazardous and threatens health. In the day time women to stay inside the tarpaulin made shanties in a humid, hot sunny day without breeze made the insiders vulnerable to ARI (acute respiratory infections). It is severely life threatening to newborn babies and nursing mothers. The people on their own cut grass from forest and made roof with grass replacing the tarpaulin ones. They also cut open tarpaulin on the sides of the shanty for ventilators. Grass thatched roof is their traditional housing system back in the place they fled.

    Cutting grass from the reserved forest nearly eliminated fodder of the elephants in the Cox’s Bazar area.

    Elephant protection groups were formed to watch the human invasions inside the area preserved for elephant.

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