Embracing New Cultures: The Journey of Integration and Connection

Embracing New Cultures: The Journey of Integration and Connection
Explore the journey of cultural integration through my mother's move from Ecuador to Belgium and my cousin's experiences in Spain. Learn how they overcame challenges, stayed connected to their roots, and forged new friendships. Discover the importance of embracing cultural differences and fostering compassion for a more interconnected world.
Video Duration: 
00:00
Creator: 
Micaela Baltussen
Date: 
Monday, June 3, 2024
Level: 
Youth
Description2: 

Imagine arriving in a foreign country. You get to explore new places, meet new people, eat types of food you never tried before… This is the ideal situation. However, finding your way in an unfamiliar environment is not always easy. 

My mother moved from Ecuador to Belgium in 2003. At first, the new community excluded her. They saw her as a foreigner, a single mother with unfamiliar customs, like spontaneously inviting people over without being very acquainted yet. She felt their rejection, but did not let it bring her down. She learned Dutch and tried making friends by going to every shop and talking to people. Finally she found her place in the community.
 
Last year, my cousin moved to Spain. Through social media she stays in touch with family from Ecuador who comfort her when she feels homesick. Through social media she also found Latin American friends and beautiful places to explore. But she hardly knows the Spanish culture and barely has any Spanish friends. 

Keeping in touch with your family, your origin, your own culture is important. It is what makes you unique. In this increasingly individualistic world, social media makes it easier to escape reality for a while. However, isolating yourself from the new community and culture is not the solution. As social beings, human connections are what we need. Forging relationships with people from different cultures is deeply rewarding. 

By listening to each other’s stories and approaching cultural differences with curiosity, we can foster compassion. This helps us discover a world where intercultural connections become complementary.

Rating: 

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