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Essential Global Woke Vocabulary – 21 Things You NEED to Know 

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Traveling around the world is not just about seeing new places; it’s also about connecting with diverse cultures and engaging in respectful and meaningful ways. To help you navigate these interactions, here’s a guide to essential “woke” vocabulary and cultural sensitivity tips that every global traveler should know. This guide will ensure you communicate inclusively and respectfully, avoiding faux pas and fostering positive encounters.

1. Person of Color (POC)

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / – Yuri A

Use this term instead of outdated and potentially offensive terms like “colored.” It’s respectful and widely accepted in discussions about race and ethnicity.

2. Indigenous

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / February_Love

Refer to native groups as “Indigenous Peoples” rather than “natives” or other pejorative terms. This acknowledges their cultural heritage and rights.

3. Latinx

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

A gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina, useful in regions or discussions involving Latin American communities.


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Image Credit: Shutterstock / MandriaPix

An inclusive acronym for the broader community of sexual and gender diversities, ensuring you recognize all identities.

5. Intersectionality

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / frantic00

Understand and acknowledge that people experience discrimination differently based on intersecting social factors like race, gender, class, and more.

6. Cultural Appropriation

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / John Theodor

Be mindful of this concept, which involves using elements of a culture (especially by members of a more dominant culture) without permission or understanding, often in ways that are disrespectful or reduce cultural expressions to stereotypes.

7. Consent

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / smolaw

Always ask for consent before taking photos of people, participating in local rituals, or engaging in activities that involve personal interactions. It’s about respecting individual autonomy and privacy.

8. Pronouns (he/she/they)

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / New Africa

Always ask for and respect a person’s pronouns when introduced. It’s a basic form of respect for gender identity.

9. Sustainable

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Borri_Studio

Engage with and use this term to discuss or inquire about practices that do not harm the environment. It’s crucial in travel contexts to promote ecological responsibility.

10. Ethical Tourism

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / EWY Media

Support and advocate for ethical tourism practices that benefit local communities economically and socially without exploiting them.

11. Microaggressions

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

Be aware of subtle, often unintentional, expressions or acts that can be offensive or hurtful to marginalized individuals.

12. Decolonization

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / ChameleonsEye

Understand this process involves acknowledging and addressing the historic and ongoing impacts of colonization on Indigenous peoples and cultures.

13. Empowerment

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / David Bokuchava

Support local initiatives that empower community members, particularly in developing regions, by engaging with businesses that are locally owned and operated.

14. Gender Neutral

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Vitalii Vodolazskyi

Use gender-neutral language in general discussions to avoid assuming someone’s gender based on appearance or name, such as using “partner” instead of boyfriend/girlfriend.

15. Ableism

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / SeventyFour

Recognize and avoid language or behaviors that discriminate against people with disabilities. Always consider accessibility in your travels.

16. Safe Spaces

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alexandre Rotenberg

Acknowledge or inquire about areas designated as safe spaces for marginalized groups, showing respect for these initiatives.

17. Cultural Sensitivity

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Image Credit: Pexels / Klub Boks

Adapt your behavior and speech to be considerate of local customs and sensitivities to avoid offending or disrespecting the local culture.

18. Inclusivity

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Image Credit: Shutterstock /

Engage in or create inclusive environments where no one feels excluded or marginalized because of their identity or beliefs.

19. Social Justice

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jacob Lund

Support and participate in causes that promote fairness and justice for underserved and oppressed communities.

20. Unconscious Bias

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / VRVIRUS

Be aware of and challenge your own unconscious biases, which can influence your perceptions and actions without you realizing it.

21. Privilege

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / – Yuri A

Acknowledge and reflect on your own privileges when traveling—such as economic, racial, or gender—and consider how they may affect your interactions and experiences.

Respectful Travel 

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tafazul Mattoo

 Armed with this vocabulary and a conscious approach to interactions, you’re more likely to have a fulfilling and respectful experience around the globe. Remember, the key is to listen, learn, and engage with an open heart and mind.

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The post Essential Global Woke Vocabulary – 21 Things You NEED to Know was republished on Passing Thru with permission from The Green Voyage.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / WINDCOLORS.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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