For this journal, each student will need to seek to have a cross-cultural experience and engage with people from a different ethno-linguistic background than your own. Here are a few suggestions of experiences to have:
Visit the home of a friend from another country. Ask them to teach you how to make food from that country, or how to play a sport which is unique to that country. Talk together about the differences in your two cultures and challenges of interacting with people who are different.
Attend a cultural celebration or festival sponsored by a local cultural association. Learn about the various traditions. (Look for Greek Festivals, Indian Cultural Festivals, Chinese New Year celebrations, etc.)
Visit a local non-Christian place of worship (Mosque, Hindu temple, Buddhist temple, etc.). Respectfully ask for a tour and ask for someone to share a little about their religion, the meanings of certain artifacts or statues you see, and the purpose of the practices you witness.
Attend a Christian worship gathering where most of the attendees have an ethno-linguistic background that is different than your own. (Many communities have churches who worship in a foreign language)
Visit a local ethnic restaurant (note: Taco Bell, Panda Express, Chipotle, Chuy’s, and other American chain restaurants that serve “international food” do not count as ethnic restaurants. Find a place where the chef and most of the staff are from the country from where the food originates, and other people of that same ethnicity go there to get food from home). Talk with the staff about where they are from and ask them about how they make their most iconic dishes. Ask about the role food plays in their culture. **This only counts if you actually engage in conversations other than ordering food!**
After you have completed your cultural experience, use the questions below as a writing prompt for your journal. (Questions in parenthesis are suggestions to help guide your thinking)
Describe your cultural experience. (Where did you go? Who did you talk to? What do you see, hear, smell, taste, feel? Did anything surprise you? What did you most enjoy about the experience? What was the most difficult part?)
Discuss what you learned about the culture represented through the experience.
How can your CQ help you in cross-cultural experiences such as these (be specific)?
How has your awareness of cultures in general or the specific culture represented changed as a result of your experience?
Your journal entry should be at least 400 words, but some of the prompts will require much more to answer the questions thoroughly. While journals are not formal academic papers, you still should take great care to make sure you always write in complete sentences with proper spelling and grammar.
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