Monday, February 21, 2011

Expanding Cultural Awareness

External culture is the conscious part—what we see, the food we eat, our music, traditions, beliefs and values. It is explicitly learned and can be changed rather easily. This is only a small part; the larger is that which is internal consisting of unconscious beliefs, thought patterns, values and myths that affect everything we do. We have to work at knowing, reaching a deep awareness of who I am really and who is the other. For me I know my family history, the stories of my parents, grandparents, my Dominican charism as a religious. In my ministry I am meeting university professors and students from many Provinces in Canada while I am working in Mexico. They come for 10 days to our center to immerse themselves in practical education, cultural awareness through international service learning. Thus my horizons of awareness of others continue to expand. Being a Dominican of Sinsinawa has allowed me to travel and engage in mission with people from diverse cultures. It is enriching! Today I will have my morning coffee with a Professor from Nova Scotia. Later with students from Ontario, I will go to Tepoztlán to climb the mountain and see a small temple built in the 700’s in Mexico.  This week we will help rebuild a bathroom for a family. What a grand life! Come join us! God is present here.
What mountain are you climbing? Is your cultural awareness expanding?

Kathleen Long O.P.
Cuernavaca, Mexico

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