Please take a moment to view both short film clips below before responding to the blog prompt written at the bottom. These clips were selected to illustrate what some cross-cultural interactions might be like. As you can see, assumption, expectation, and understanding all affect our ability to build relationships.
Below is a clip from Gran Torino (2008) that highlights the growing relationship between a man named Walt, played by Clint Eastwood, and his Hmong neighbors.
Below is a clip from a documentary called, God Grew Tired of Us (2006), produced by National Geographic Films and Newmarket Films. It is about four boys from Sudan who embark on a journey to America after years of wandering Sub-Saharan Africa in search of safety.
The Poisonwood Bible (Book 1: Genesis):
The opening statement of Leah's narration has to be one of my all-time favorite lines: "We came from Bethlehem, Georgia, bearing Betty Crocker cake mixes into the jungle" (Kingsolver 13). If you've never heard of it, a Betty Crocker cake mix is a boxed, prepackaged cake mix made by an iconic all-American brand.
In The Poisonwood Bible, this trivial box of flour and sugar acts as a flawless symbol of the Price family's unpreparedness for the cross-cultural shocks they are about to experience. As the family sets foot onto totally foreign soil, they "carry in" much more than their American goods which they soon realize are utterly useless. They carry with them their misconceptions and ignorance about their new home, as well as their frequent prideful inability to humble themselves and adapt to their starkly new environment.
I want you to personally reflect on these struggles. When you consider a cross-cultural experience of your own, can you recall ever allowing your own misconceptions, assumptions, or inaccurate expectations to negatively affect your experience? Have you ever allowed your pride to affect your ability to take a humble attitude in an unknown, foreign setting? What did you learn as a result? Conversely, have you ever been the recipient of someone else's cross-cultural misconceptions? How did you feel? React?
Primary Blog Expectations (respond to the prompt above): 200-250 words, minimal errors in grammar and usage, thoughtful and thorough writing. Please use a name that you select as your nom de plume and be sure to add word count. Due by 11:59 pm on Friday 2/15!
Secondary Blog Response Expectations (read everyone's primary responses, select two that interest you, and respond to their ideas): 100-150 words EACH, minimal errors in grammar and usage, thoughtful, and thorough writing. Please use your nom de plume and be sure to add word count. Due by 11:59 pm on Sunday 2/17!
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