Sunday, May 5, 2013

Uniting the World: Five Ways To Find the Connections Across Different Cultures

I grew up in different counties: China, Japan, and the United States. The difference in culture and language were the huge struggles for me as I live in other countries. I had a lot of hard times throughout my childhood to communicate well with others and to find the right fit for wherever I go. They were all difficult memories for me as a child. 

However, after being involved with International Students Association (ISA) at Southern Oregon University (SOU) for the past year, I discovered that people can still bond well together even they do not speak each other's language. I discovered following five categories that will break the language barrier and make world unite. 

This week was International Week, we had Food Fair, Bazaar, Talent Show, and Fashion Show etc. Among all the events, Talent Show was the biggest one. There were singing and dancing that show the cultural spirit. The committee worked very hard for this event and week. It was so much fun!!
Our group photo after the "Talent Show"
Due to the time issue, I was able to participate in the Talent Show; however, I still showed my Chinese Dress in the Fashion Show. I also cooked some Food for the Food Fair and Bazaar. People liked my dress and the food I made disappeared in seconds!!

1. Food
Food brings people together. People love food no matter which country they are from. Each country has their own holiday and celebration. The tradition always involves certain kind of food. If you are having a hard time starting a conversation or fit into a group, try to offer others some food. I love to cook, so food helped me meet people and introduced to the social world. 

2. Music
Language of music is Universal around the world. We do not have to be able to speak the language, and still could sing the language well. People in Asia love to listen and sing English songs. The picture from International Show, we sang Gangnam Style in the end. I did not know the meaning of the lyrics, but I still enjoyed.  

3.  Dance
Dancing does not require verbal communication and it is fun and bring joyfulness. I saw various cultural dance through the show, I felt people can dance regardless of their background. I like to see people from different countries connect through dancing. 

4. Games
People from all over the world loves fun games. There are a lot of games that do not require language to play. The photo is from Indian Color Festival (Holi). We all had fun coloring ourselves with chalk powder and water guns. I love to see people from various places play and laugh together. 

5. Sports
Rules of sports do not have much difference among nation, so people can still play sport with each other. That is why we have Oympic. Being a team player is a great way to bond with teammates. Good thing about sports is that people communicate using gestures and eye contact, so language barrier would not be the problem to interact.  

Now, you should realize people can still have good time together even they do not understand each other's language. 

So, if you have to have a friend or try to make a friend from another country, try to connect with him/her from cooking and eating, singing and dancing, and playing games and sports.  

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