Happy International Women’s Day to all the ladies of the world!!!!
I never knew about International Women’s Day until I met my late mother in law. It so happens that March 8th was her birthday as well. So that first year I celebrated her birthday with her, I received a flower with a felicitous “Happy International Women’s Day!!” Huh?
From the age of 4 to 7 I grew up in Haiti in an affluent neighborhood. I saw lots of biracial people but mostly everyone was black. When I came back to the states I started to get exposed more to other cultures. Our neighbors were mostly Haitians with a sprinkle other Caribbean countries. When I transitioned from Catholic School to public school I met kids from other Caribbean countries I’ve never heard of and some from China. Being exposed to a name like “Ha nu” was out of this world for me. We even had one kid in our class that was from Cambodia. Where the heck is that?
It wasn’t until I attended my old church that I really began being exposed to a plethora of other cultures. All of sudden I’m like “Where are you from?” “I never heard of that place!!” Being the inquisitive person that I am, I asked LOTS of questions. What do you eat? What are your superstitions (Haitians have PLENTY), what’s considered bad manners? I insisted on using peoples traditional names. Meeting new people filled my insatiable need to learn about new cultures.
Now, meeting new people is one thing. Eating their foods was another! Oh Boy!! My roommate in college was this gorgeous Indian woman. It took her several months to get me to try Indian food. I outright refused. When I finally tried it, the food was the spiciest thing I ever had. You don’t have to guess what happened to me….I said NEVER again! Thank GOD one should never say never because Indian food is now one of my favorites.
When I started dating my husband, my horizons spread even more. Russian food, Japanese food, Thai food…Not only that, but I began visiting different countries as well. Learning new words, foods, and art. I feel privileged to have had those experiences in my life.
What about you? Have you been open to learning about new cultures? Trying their food, being exposed to their way of life? It’s important! Now, will we all marry someone from another culture and/or travel to the different continents. Nope! But NYC alone has almost all you need to get started in your immersion of other cultures. Don’t be reticent! Step out and experience the different, beautiful people in this GOD-given world!