Blogs are a fantastic way to share ideas with friends all over the world. This blog is dedicated to culture and the way it affects our lives, our business, and our leadership. I plan to post once or twice a week with what I hope are new and fresh ideas. So I do trust you will be coming back.
I remember in the early 90’s when our family first moved to China some American friends of ours had a baby. The husband was a university teacher and of course his students were very excited and interested in the new American child. A couple of questions that they had were, “Since the baby was born in China why isn’t she Chinese?” and “Since the baby was born in China, how will she learn English?”
Understanding what we do about genetics and early childhood learning, these questions seem like simplistic and childish. But the students were far from stupid–they were actually brilliant. Less than 1% of Chinese young people went to college in those days, so these students were absolutely the best and the brightest in the land.
But they were ignorant. They grew up in a place that was uni-cultural. They lived their whole lives meeting only people who were Chinese and spoke the Chinese language. Without multicultural experience, how could they be expected to know that just because a baby was born in China he or she wouldn’t be Chinese? How would they know that even if the baby was born in China he or she wouldn’t speak Chinese if the parents didn’t speak Chinese in the home.
We are all like these Chinese students in some ways. We all have cultural ignorances and cultural biases. But fortunately, we don’t have to stay that way. We can learn, we can grow, and we can develop our intercultural muscles.
I hope to do that in this blog. I hope you take the journey with me because it’s going to be a lot of fun!
Blessings to you!