Sunday, January 8, 2017

First Culture Shock

I remember my first major culture shock – when I was four years old. We had been shipped to remote islands in the mission in the (then) Gilbert Islands. My sister and I were the first White children that many local children had seen. Add to that the difference in their and our sense of space, and we were both crowded and in distress. My father taught me to say “Nako!” which means “Go away!” I remember shouting “Nako!” on a sunny beach. It just puzzled the children. Then my father spoke to the parents. It was a culture of authority and obedience. Suddenly we were alone. I felt very guilty. OBSERVATION: Once, I was crowded while riding a bicycle, and was accidentally pushed into a taro pit. In later years, we became accustomed to this, in fact enjoyed the company. One wonders how such experiences influence one’s thinking.

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