Friday, July 12, 2013

The Métissage of Humanity
by Beatriz Lovo Reichmann

The term finds its basis on the idea that, as we visit and experience other countries and cultures, we take a little bit of them with us and leave a little bit of us behind. It's the blending of all that makes us human: religion, tradition, language, gastronomy...

Is it hard to picture? Well, for the next few weeks I'll share knowledge, laughter, frustration and experience with 15 people that could not have been chosen to be more different. I come from Honduras; they come from countries as far away as Ukraine, Lebanon, Rumania, Kirghistan...

From them I've learned that, despite language and geographical barriers, we share more similarities than differences. And even these differences, which are sometimes traits that make us unique as a people, are based on values that would make any person a better person. For example, in Mongolia, when someone drives or walks to a far away location, they may say "I'm going to Honduras." In countries like Azrbaijan, Malaysia and Bangladesh when someone shares food with you and later you must return the plate it came on, that plate is never to be returned empty. In Zambia, when the father as head of the household comes home from work every evening, he always brings something to share with the family: a loaf of bread, candy, fruit. This way, children will always be excited to see dad come home.

I hope to learn more, to take back with me not only the wonders this country has to offer, but the teachings of these 15 people who, at least for the next few weeks are my only family. So, it will now be my custom to always bring something home after work; I will never return a plate that is empty; and if I must walk or drive somewhere far away, I'll say "I'm going to Mongolia". After all, I have a friend there.

1 comment:

gunjidmaa gongor said...

Dear lovely Beatriz,
If you are going to go anywhere, I will say "Welcome to Mongolia" :)