Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009 - 6 comments

“Win-Win” – Part 2

This is the second installment of a series of three posts talking about my favorite way of interacting with the world around me, with an attitude of “Win-Win.” It says that my best success only comes with your success.

Today, I want to focus on how that is applied in multi-culturalism. It is cliché, but our world is shrinking everyday. With the internet and blogs, we can feel like events happening halfway around the world are in our own neighborhood. And why not, they are affecting our cyber-neighbors. This international community is like heaven for me because I love to learn about other people, how they live, and why they choose to live that way. I love talking with them because they give me perspectives I couldn’t have dreamed of. And hopefully, I can do the same for them.

But my good luck is that I don’t even have to get on my computer to interact with other cultures. All I have to do is step out my front door. You see I’m a Yankee living in West Texas, so everyone around here thinks I’m a foreigner. LOL

The first thing that I discovered was that I love Mexican food. Having grown-up in the frozen north, this was the first time that I lived in a place with a large Hispanic community. What I found out was that the slop that I was given before was NOT Mexican food. (I still have no idea what it actually was, but those restaurants should be prosecuted for perpetuating a public fraud! LOL) The funny part is everyone I knew up north thought that they were having some exotic treat whenever they went to Brand X. Oh, if they only knew what they were missing. I always thought that food was the best way to be introduced to another culture.

The next thing that I learned was that these people love to dance. (Did I mention that I’m a dancer? And no, it does NOT involve a pole, and I keep all of my clothes on. LOL) And by “these people,” I mean ALL of the indigenous residents whether white, Hispanic, or what have you.

There are some pretty stiff roughnecks (aka oil field workers), but the cowboys love their Two-Step. And within two months of my arrival, I was at a Hispanic birthday party and got my first opportunity to do the Cumbia. (No, it’s not “the forbidden dance.” That’s the Lambada, and to tell you the truth, the Lambada isn’t all that racy, all things being equal. LOL)

The best part is when all of “these people” get together for an event, like an employee banquet. All the best parts of all the cultures get jumbled together like a great toss salad. All of the flavors mix around while retaining their uniqueness and everybody has a great time.

Does that mean that there are never problems or disputes? Of course not, but there are issues among people of a single culture. The great thing around here is that the leaders from every group come together to try to resolve it. To me, that looks a lot like “Win-Win.”

Next time: Being a Christian in a multi-cultural world with an attitude of “Win-Win.”


Food is the best way to learn about culture, I agree. Or at least the most fun way. I suspect I've never had authentic Mexican, but I am a Midwestern gal.

Ann Arbor is fairly muliticultural due to the university, but I don't know if my social circle necessarily is, but I do meet a lot of people from different cultures online, which is amazing.

Yes, the internet allows me to visit places and meet people that I never dreamed of. :)

having lived in NY all my life I was fortunate to meet so many different kinds of people

one of the things it made me realize though is that just being "exposed" to different people doesn't help unless your heart and mind is open

Well, I would say that being exposed is better than living in isolation, but yes, an open mind is vital.

I agree with you about food and dance being a couple of great ways to introduce yourself to a different culture. A willingness to learn about a new culture and share a bit of your own is definitely a win-win on both sides.

You can't help but learn that your differences are not huge barriers to finding common ground.

Yes, establishing common ground. That's the key! :)

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