Golden Opportunity Share Your Culture

In the 20th century, “culture” emerged as a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of human phenomena that cannot be attributed to genetic inheritance. Specifically, the term “culture” in American anthropology had two meanings: (1) the evolved human capacity to classify and represent experiences with symbols, and to act imaginatively and creatively; and (2) the distinct ways that people living in different parts of the world classified and represented their experiences, and acted creatively.

Everything in the Universe is collective creative energy including our thoughts and emotions about cultural diversity issues. Honoring  and having a perspective that the world’s multicultural diversity is perhaps a “blessing in disguise” might just surprise each of us if we choose to explore. As societies and nations begin to embrace each other we will feel an interconnectedness as ONE human race, marching towards the same goal of UNITY in the Infinite Universe.

The human being is part of the whole, called by us the ‘universe’,
a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as
something separate from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of consciousness.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle
of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Albert Einstein

Understanding the key principles of cultural diversity and the need to nourish such environments in work and society are critical to achieving harmony in the world. We are all born into a certain culture but that does not mean we are supposed to ignore all others around us. Culture does not mean we are bound or restricted by the past “template” either if we desire to express ourselves in a fresh unique way.

Imagine the ability to be able to experience the full vibrancy, colour and depth of another culture without having to leave our country!  Canada is such a rich culturally diverse land that people could spend their entire lifetime traveling from Province to Province nourishing their souls with the deep cultural knowledge still waiting to be discovered and shared by each of us.

Canada’s diversity includes Native Indians to East Indians, Irish, Haitians, German, Ukrainian, Muslim, Egyptian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, British, Italian, Korean, African, Chinese and American brothers and sisters to name a few. We are all living right next door to each other in our own towns, cities and villages. Canada truly is the United Nations of the Universe!

We work daily with people from multiple cultures, yet how often do we take the time to learn about each another. I know I missed many opportunities in the past. How often are we open enough to sharing our cultural depth with others? How many times have we all wondered about certain cultures and their customs? Perhaps you’ve seen something on television that has really intrigued you about a culture, i.e. the food, a traditional dance, a wedding ceremony or perhaps even a cultural holiday.

You might have wondered, why does my stir fry not taste like the Chinese restaurant? Or why do some Indians wear turbans and others don’t? Perhaps you’ve even wondered why do Greeks break plates during their weddings?  Suddenly out of the blue a golden opportunity presents itself to ask the perfect person the questions you have in your heart, but you back down in case you “offend them.”

I would like to share a couple of personal experiences around the multicultural sensitivities we face today:

1) A friend of mine contacted me about an Indian music performance group who were performing in Canada asking about Indian advertising vehicles I could point her to. She had been told by the marketing department they had to be careful to market to the correct Indian audience because the performers had come from a specific territory in India.

I responded that in this wonderful multicultural diverse country why would the organizers not want to share this beautiful performance with every cultural society rather than just with the Indian community?

2) Another example was a “Jehovah faith pamphlet” I had received at my home. A school teacher was stuck for cultural and religious knowledge until she had received a book on multiple faiths from Jehovah Witnesses. She was absolutely ecstatic that she could now understand and share this knowledge with her pupils in class. You would think that the school systems would have a cultural knowledge bank somewhere that teachers could access these resources?

I would like to encourage the reader to step outside of your comfort zone to explore the wonderful multicultural society we live in. Trust your instincts and the Universal Intelligence that you might not be offending anyone. Go ahead ask your friends, associates, your neighbors or perhaps even fellow parents at your child’s school.  One simple question – “I would love to learn about your culture or faith, do you mind sharing?” And see what happens. It may surprise you, the opportunity of discovery is already lined up for those that don’t fear!

If they say yes, fantastic, you will discover some hidden gems and jewels of a culture that you probably may not have experienced.  On the other hand, if they say no, please don’t be offended and become sensitive, just look at the bright side 1 person in perhaps a 1000 might say no. You still have 999 others to ask!

A final thought, remember the world’s diversity of languages, traditions and cultures are a great treasure for all of us to enjoy while we live on this planet.  When we are all done on this physical plane adventure, we will shed our body suit and underneath we will realize we always were whole and ONE. Life was simply an exploratory game of hide and seek we co-wrote!

Let Go. Simply Trust Life.

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