Cultural Engagment

I wasn’t sure what I could suggest, and do, this weekend in order to make the world a better place. Then, as it so often does, the idea for this week’s blog post came from an experience. A good friend invited me to a celebration of the Philippines’ Independence Day. It was beautiful to see so many Filipino-Americans take an amazing amount of pride in their country, culture, and people.globe-landmark-icons-18979647

This experience got me thinking about how excited some of my friends get when something from their culture is exalted in the U.S., since American culture is dominant and somewhat controlled by only a few narratives. All that to say, as a part of one of those dominant narratives, an important thing for me to do is honor other people for their unique cultures and experiences as well. This can help others by increasing the comfort level and reducing micro-aggresions toward people of non-dominant cultures.

Furthermore, it helps us because celebrating and learning about different cultures is interesting and fun! So, this week’s suggestion of how to change the world is to go beyond cultural awareness, into cultural engagement. Take a genuine interest in the unique experiences of people around you. I think you will be surprised at the extent of the lasting effect it has on both you and the people around you.

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