The eighth month in the Gregorian calendar.
The number of new beginnings.
August came and went, and my, what an interesting season it was!
I spoke at the Ladies, Lipstick, and Luggage Conference. My sister started college. I graduated from Baruch.
And I traveled to INDIA.
Do you have a place or experience you've waited so long for and you're not sure if it will awesome or disappointing?
That's what India represents for me
For the next few weeks, I will chronicle my time India, the interesting things I learned, the pleasant people I met and the questions I now have.
Won't you follow this journey with me?
Malaysian Chinese boy professes his adoration for his Malay classmate. And yes, they're still friends: https://www.instagram.com/p/BAMVjWwswVI/
WHEN CULTURE TRUMPS PERSONALITY
I enjoy talking.
But sometimes, I don't want to represent anyone.
Sometimes I just want to be myself, free of the burden of representation.
When first meeting new people, one can expect the standard questions: Where are you from? Do you like...? Have you tried...?
Apart from the getting to know you historically questions (facts, [dis]likes, etc.), there the getting to know you personally questions (thoughts, beliefs, convictions). Personal questions tend to require fuller thought, more reflection, and perhaps, more diplomacy, especially if the questioner asks you to speak on behalf of a community of people.
Currently, the United States public image is on the rocks. Police brutality, racism, political upheaval does not make sense to many living in the U.S., much less people who are watching it from afar. On a trip to Canada in May, I met a few people who somewhat jokingly commented on the U.S. presidential election and the prospect of U.S. American's immigrating to their Northern neighbor. What perturbed me was not the awkward political icebreaker but rather the throwback question, "Why is there so much racism and hatred in America?"
I shared an example a few weeks back about a student asking me about Islamophobia and war in the United States. Traveller and Blogger Valentine Sergon offers her own approach to navigating these difficult questions in "On Being Black, American, Proud".
Have you faced "representation fatigue"? How do you handle it?
Musings and muses.