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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Living the Culture...

2:19 am

As I sit hear re-listening to Mos Def's Black on Both sides...I step outside of my own box (body) and realize how much I am subconsciously connecting with a New York City lifestyle.

I am literally submerging myself into this new/old culture. Its no new thing for me. I've been here for 2 years now but I can see myself struggling to connect with why people LOVE Brooklyn so much?? As cliche as it sounds, I went to watch the movie Notorious. I've been re-discovering Mos Def's first solo album which I kinda-sorta-am-shamed-to-say I passed over at a younger age. ( I guess I wasn't ready for it yet.) I mean this album is it. I was always looking for something to continue my thirst after Blackstar. This is it. I'll be good til another year or so.

But outside of the music genre, I notice that I almost ....almost love riding the NYC train. The experience that so many take lightly, and tourists over-exaggerate, I have grown to love in a curious-George kind of way. Crowded, dirty, dark, uninviting...but sooo New York.

Sooo New York. And thats what its all about.

I find myself (like the hadith) a traveler in this world. I don't want to be a New Yorker. (believe me I don't). But, you have to respect it. You have to study and respect the culture. And you can't just come and TAKE. You have to GIVE something as well. This is the essence of a travler. You can't come and take without giving something of yourself.

What I noticed about me, wherever I go....I love studying and learning about new cultures. Be it Cincinnati, Atlanta, DC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Bermuda, Jamaica... I love to submerge myself as much as religiously possible (when in Rome...). That is the only way to see Rome. You have to become a Roman. To really understand and respect a can't view it from the airplane ...and books will only take you so far....


Ironically, I woke up this morning watching "The Proud Family". You know that Disney Channel show of the black family. This episode was called, "culture shock" and all the kids switched families with those of other cultures....Chinese, Puerto Rican, Black, Jamaican, one rich guy, and the highlight of the show: a Muslim Pakistani family.

They did a decent job of explaining about Islamic concepts like Ramadan and Hijab by showing the little girl's adjustment to the new family. (The Simpsons had a similiar episode where they addressed Islamophobia. )

The point being...culture has to be experienced and lived. This gives the best appreciation. ANd I think you gain a much broader view of the world when you gain that type of experience. It essentially makes you who you are.

Thank you world for shaping my development. Thank you NYC for the part that you play. I'll be giving back very soon now...


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