As I wrap up the week I wanted to highlight the “new look” of the blog as well as some reader comments.
- I changed themes going with a bit less crowded and cleaner look.
- Recent blog posts, instead of taking up a lot of space, are put into a gallery format below the post of the day. It is formatted this way so readers can easily scroll through and read what interests them.
Let me know what you think about the changes either through comments or an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
My post “In Praise of Cultural Brokers” on Wednesday brought some great thoughts and interesting comments. Some came on the post, others through email, and still others through Facebook. I wanted to highlight some of these insights so more readers could read what others had to say.
Judy– raised in New England, moved to Texas, college in Chicago, lived in Russia and now lives in rural Tennessee. She says this:
I don’t have a cultural broker at this moment but lately I have noticed the need for someone to tell me what I am doing wrong. NE Tennessee has its own culture…It hit me a few months back that I had not adapted to the culture as well as I wish I had. In addition to that I have 3 yrs in a foreign country and at times I feel out-of-place ANYWHERE!
Gretchen – an interracially adopted TCK who grew up in Albania, Japan and the Philippines. She says:
Cultural brokers are absolute blessings.. I remember trying to make my résumé for the first time this year and just being completely lost about what to write. Growing up bragging about oneself was totally despicable and so when it came to trying to sell myself as a potential employee, I was just having a really hard time.. but then my cultural brokers stepped in.. and my confidence soared as they encouraged me…
Pegi – raised in the midwest, college in Chicago, then lived overseas in both Venezuela and Costa Rica (She speaks Spanglish!). She says:
Are kids from divorced families cross-cultural travelers? Is moving to the “land” of your in-laws an immigrant experience? Is identity a place to find respite? … If so, it puts a new spin on the phrase “restless soul.” Many of us are looking for “something.” Maybe it is really “somewhere” – a place where our heart and souls feel “at home”.
My mom – raised in a small town in Massachusetts, college in Boston, 35 years in Pakistan and now living in Western Massachusetts. She writes:
I’ve been trying to remember some of my cultural brokers and I think early on in Pakistan the main ones were our language teachers. There is so much of culture bound up in language and I’m sure they saved us from many faux pas…Later we became cultural brokers for the young newcomers we oriented and supervised in language study. One of my greatest satisfactions now is acting in that role in tutoring my ESL students. I think I lived too long in Pakistan, and I am far more comfortable interacting with internationals, especially Asians than most Americans.
All this is a reminder to me that our world is a global world and we interact across cultural boundaries regularly. Thanks to all of you for your insights. Have a great weekend!