Thursday, 14 June 2007

Visit our culture shop. Bargains galore

Pre-conceived ideas about the qualities, pre-fabricated notions of other cultures, for the members of other cultures. Off the self, over the counter, values offered, in the culture's one-shop for all merchandise. You have there, ready made, handy for you, for all occasions and all circumstances. Avoid these all-annoying tingling, fanciful thinking processes, time consuming, instead use easy to use solutions, ease your problems, guarantee success. Special discounts for our young clientèle. You can explain everything.

Each culture has its own all-in -one shop of off-the -self ideas about members of other cultures and each of us (has bought) must have experienced their effects.

In cultures that are comprised by a single predominant, this is not a problem. The problem arises when in a society there more than one influential cultures.
What then? Of course as each culture representative use its own culture corner shop (there would be problems) to purchase his off the shelf values, there would be a problems of various extent.
Do we need that? We need a culture shop, it gives continuity in our lives, it somehow blends with our disposition and may be, even our genetic make-up.

What we do not need are the off-the-self images about the members of other cultures. The stereotypes produced. It induces people to behave in ways alien to their true disposition.

Multicultural societies offer a great opportunity for a dominant culture to assimilate within it revised ideas in their stereotypes of members of other cultures as provided by the very same members of these cultures, malleated at the anvil of inter-cultural interactions and their significance is valuable to the creation of a harmonious world.

It is whenever you try to apply the model bought and it doesn't fit. What do you do then? You return the model to the shop and demand a refund? You demand another model that better deals with the situation encountered? Or ignore any discrepancies, dismiss them (as details) and continue to use the old ill-fitting model, ignoring any protests from the ill-fitted subject, and blaming that the subject portrayed malfunctions and not the model.
What is needed are initiatives as these, described by the aims in this KulturAXE website:
* Poverty alleviation by upgrading creative capacities and skills focusing on historically disadvantaged youth
* Promotion of a better understanding between South Africa and Europe as an initiative against stereotypes and prefabricated notions of cultural identity
* Detection and publicising creative potential
* Fostering of international exposure and mobility
* Building active intercultural networks between South Africa and Europe

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