Just coming back from my holiday in Asia ( China, Singapore and Malaysia) I realised we actually don't know and most of all don't understand each other's cultures.
Malaysia and Singapore are countries full of different cultures. A part of the population is Chinese, Indians, and the Malaysians are also separated in muslim and non-muslim. When you walk through the cities you see an amazing mix and integration from those different cultures. Different Mosques, Churches and Temples are so close positioned that you feel an international vibe.
But when I visited a Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, some non-muslim international tourists were walking on the praying carpets. Even when the guide told them they weren't allowed to walk on the praying carpets they kept on walking on them and taking pictures. Without listening to any information they left the mosque. I was shocked.
How come we don't know so much about other cultures? Is this ignorance or do we know really so less about other cultures?
Grown up in a Western world as a Asian looking female I have been brought up with several stereotypes. People on the street screaming 'ni hao' to me, without considering I am a Belgian, and yet telling ourselves we are the living in one of the better developed parts of the world. Yes, on economic level we can say we are developed but I am not sure about the cultural level. Still we are fighting to remove mosques from our countries, and are still judging several culture groups because of background or past events.
For me living in between different cultures makes it sometimes very frustrating but also very interesting on another level. I get certain habits from different cultures and I try to make it my own.
I have been working on living in between as a topic for several projects and for this project I would like to work more on the topic 'understanding cultures'. I get the feeling we have to try more and from their on respect will come with it.
I am up for any collaborations and approaches from different people and backgrounds!