An impossible mission?

The Artdog Quote of the Week 

I’m not sure Suzuki is correct–either that international cultural exchange is impossible, or that it is impossible to see beyond one’s own cultural context.

Instead, I think that when people from different cultures interact, they almost inevitably are affected by the new ideas and approaches they encounter. Far from being impossible, it seems to me that cultural exchange is inevitable.

Moreover, once cultural interaction has taken place, the new approaches or ideas (or visuals, or sounds, or flavors, or any of the other aspects of cultural interaction) have been experienced, they are impossible to un-experience. And what does that change? Cultural context.

Not completely, of course. Not all the way to seeing in terms of the newly-experienced culture’s context, certainly. But it still can be interesting, startling, or occasionally even life-changing, to experience life surrounded by a culture not our own.

Suzuki and Bogart are correct, however that making the effort to see beyond one’s own context has the potential to break down rigid assumptions. And once the walls of those assumptions have fallen, who knows what creative things might happen?

IMAGE: Many thanks for this quotation and image to A-Z Quotes.

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jansgephardt

Kansas City-based Jan S. Gephardt is a writer, artist, and teacher. She makes nationally-recognized paper sculpture and writes sf mystery novels about a sapient police dog.

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