If you haven’t already seen it, I highly recommend making 20 minutes to listen to this talk by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on the danger of a single story. It’s funny, articulate and very true.
Our countries and cultures are made up of thousands of lives and stories. We know that, because we grew up with them.
But what about far away places? Sometimes we don’t get to hear all the stories. Sometimes we make generalisations from the ones that reach us.
To really understand another country’s culture go in search of the other stories.
Read the newspapers – find local (national) newspapers as well as international. But don’t stop there.
Talk to people who have been there – and talk to people who grew up there. They will give you different perspectives, which you can use to create your own picture.
I’ve been asked a few times recently what inspired us to create PocketCultures. Well, it was to show alternative points of view – the second, third and (one day) the hundredth story. We collaborate with people who live all over the world, each has a different story to tell.
Sometimes it’s the one you expect, sometimes it’s something else completely.
About the authorLucy