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If you like honey, fear not the bees. -African Proverb

Monday, December 16, 2013

What does the term Third World really mean?

The phrase Third World, there is no “official” agreed upon definition of the term however, people in their everyday conversations use the term third world to describe poor developing countries and inferior individuals. 



The original meaning of third world was coined by Alfred Sauvy, in 1952. Third world meant countries that were unaligned with either the Communist Soviet bloc or the Capitalist NATO bloc during the Cold War.

There is no “official” agreed upon definition of the term Third World.
There is no “official” agreed upon 
definition of the term Third World 
Photo taken by USAID Southern Africa
The term Third World implies counties and their people are inferior due to widespread poverty and other factors. The term Third World obscures all parts of a country's culture and contributions that are not of an economic nature. 

Who are the first, second and third world countries? First World refers to developed, capitalist, industrial countries, North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia. Second World refers to Russia, Eastern Europe and some of the Turkish States as well as China. The term Third World includes developing nations of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Lately the term Third World is used interchangeably with Developing Countries in regards to the economic development of a country. However, rather than ignoring and dismissing a country and its peoples culture based solely on economics we need to look interculturality.


Every culture has something special and important to share. Every world citizen has beautiful stories and songs, delicious food, fabulous creative arts and wonders of nature to reveal. 

Don’t allow terms like “Third World” or “Developing Countries” end your journey of learning about different cultures before it begins.

 *Interculturality- interaction between different cultures 

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