A Reverse Cultural Exchange Essay

895 words - 4 pages

If we had no mirrors, we would depend on what others told us about ourselves and our self-identity would be reflected through someone else’s eyes.

When we look in the mirror we only notice what has changed from the last glance we took. As the small changes accumulate but go unnoticed it is easy to adopt the perspective that we are rather fixed, unchangeable, and just fine the way we are.

After spending some time in an indigenous culture in the Andean mountains, I soaked myself in that culture. There are many things about the indigenous village that I appreciated – its tranquility, the fresh food, the simplicity. After frequent visits there, the transition to returning to Canada became ...view middle of the document...

His smile and laugh re-immerged – “In Canada you provide the vessel to give a single cut flower water for the price of a lifetime of clean water to my people”.

We sat down at my dinner table to eat. We took out the fruit in the fruitbowl and showed him the labels – banana flown in from Malaysia, avocado from Mexico, tangerine from S. Africa, apple from Argentina. He has an enormous 7 year old avocado tree with many stories in which his cats live. The tree never stops providing abundant avocados that are masterpieces - barely fitting in your palm and each flawless vivid green on the inside. I kept certain things from him – I didn’t tell him what I recently learnt from my boyfriend about the tale of our avocado’s journey through cartel plantations in Mexico, being plucked raw to ripen in a sunless box on a bumpy jet plane.

Regardless, it was definitely a positively eye opening experience for both of us. Taking him to the Royal Ontario Museum to marvel at the incredible array of earth gems was a special moment for me. I wanted to show him just how incomprehensibly phenomenal his mother-nature was and I thank our society for providing me with the opportunity to do so.

I had listened to the traumatic recall of past research done on his people. So I wanted to show him what research was to me and why we did it. We took a trip to the university’s largest library to see towers of books and...

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