A Cultural Perspective
The home of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo
As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect. The truth, is that I am taking the time to remember Pink Shirt Day Day. This is a day that is dedicated to spread awareness about bullying, to stop bullying of all forms. On this day I decided to share the message of inclusion with all of my students. I decided to write a poem that encapsulated a snap shot of my personality. The underlying reason for doing so was because, I believe when you take the time to get to know the "other", we can begin to break down generalized stereotypes, be taking a stand at the level of the individual.
So it is obvious that I am a woman of colour, belonging to an ethnic minority group. Although I have a British Accent, the colour of the skin is what is seen first. Also I have a Muslim name. As we live through the days of Islamophobia - I wanted to shed light and share a positive message. I also asked the students, to share some thoughts about themselves. I found a positive outcome with the use of this activity.
As much as we need to adopt the values and message of days of inclusion everyday, I like the idea of having specific days set to send a reminder, and reiterate the message. These days are sometimes extended into months. For example: Black History Month, or Hispanic Heritage Month. These months are great because we are able to explore language, culture, and people at a deeper level. What I would say is that if modeled correctly - these months can inspire respect.
During the Hispanic Heritage Month, there was the opening of the African American Heritage Museum in Washington. The structure of this museum is quite extraordinary. I believe it was a 10 years in the making project. I decided to share the happiness of this land mark opening by tweeting congratulations.
Later, I began to think - As much as this was a beautiful historic moment for the preservation of the African American culture, I could not help but think about the affect of this opening as it coincided with the Hispanic Heritage Month. Should the opening have waited? Did our leaders do enough to preserve the awareness of this month? I feel that a date that is set for such a historic and momentous occasion should be very well though about. Even though I contributed and was happy. I could not help but think that the timing, really took away from the preservation of the Hispanic Heritage Month.
You see: The implicit message that is sent can simply mean that one heritage is more important than another. Yet, historically Hispanics in America have struggled to have their voices heard. These months are special because they can serve as a time to re-conciliate with history. To strengthen bonds with communities. As I conclude my thoughts I ask -
How did this opening affect the preservation's of the Hispanic Heritage Month?
What are the invisible implicit messages that are being sent out by our leaders?
Dedication - These thoughts are dedicated to all beings - They are also dedicated to the people of the Hispanic descent, you are worthy and you are loved. My thoughts to share with love & kindness! :)
Notes: These thoughts were originally hand written on October 8th 2016 and continued on October 22nd 2016.
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Our thoughts, to invite and inspire. With Love & kindness. :)