I’ve been living in a moderate size town in Pennsylvania for the past 14 years. The town is mostly composed of white Americans with a few interspersed African Americans and a few Hispanics. If anything, I would describe it as bland… nothing to really challenge your worldview.
But for the past two summers, I have visited my brother in San Diego. What a city! I was amazed at how much diversity there was. I went to the park with my nephew and would discover that the kids there would come from all different nationalities. There was never a guarantee that I would be able to speak English with any of the parents. According to the US census, about 37% of people in San Diego (over the age of 5) speak a language other than English at home. There were families from China, Taiwan, Japan, Ireland, Iran, Mexico, India, and on and on. But everyone was friendly with each other. There was even a neighborhood potluck one week. It was so fun to see a table scattered with food from all cultures, not just burgers and fries. Though everyone was from different nationalities and mostly unable to speak the same language, there were still kind gestures… smiles, nods of courtesy, and acceptance as the kids happily played together.
I felt more comfortable.. more at home being in that diverse culture for the 1st time, than I have felt being in this bland culture for 14 years. Is it just me? or is it a TCK thing? Or is it something that everyone feels?
I feel like that’s the way this world is meant to be. Every culture living together… not the blend of culture that makes everything bland, but the distinctness from every culture that makes everything beautiful.
Next Post (A Family of Strangers) will be up on Tuesday.