Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cultural Differences

Thanks to a post on a blog I follow "Langwitches" I have come across this series of video clips from National Geographic.

These 4 short video clips give an incredible insight into the culture of the Sudanese "lost boys" and how they have struggled to find their sense of place and community in the USA. It gives me a real picture of what it is like for new immigrants entering any country, looking at it through their eyes and the difficulties they must face as they try to embed their culture and beliefs into an entirely new environment. In one of the video clips when the men are at the supermarket wondering over doughnuts and what they may taste like, the look of others in the supermarket seems to be one of "who are these people and why are they here?"

Their views on how they are treated by people in the USA, the way they see it and the reflective questions they ask in these video clips are very powerful and truly make me think. Having an understanding of other peoples culture, where they have come from and their environment is an important part of life.

As Educators, do we have this understanding of the children we teach who are from other cultures? What effort do we make to ensure we are meeting their cultural needs? Are we expecting them to fit into our culture and environment to the detriment of theirs? Questions worth pondering......


Ann H said...

Place these stories alongside what has recently happened in England (riots) and NZ's low ranking in the Unesco report on children. What they have retained, but we in the West have lost, is the overwhelming responsibility for the well-being of community and family. Ann

Mrs Pene said...

We have just appointed a new esol co ordinator to liase with our growing esol child and parent community at school. Our lovely Lisa is a new NZer from south Africa and is full of great stories to help our staff understand the challenges faced by our migrant families. I will share this with her.