Research Blog 9: Intercultural Uncertainty

Today I added a story of my own to this website that was about uncertainty – intercultural uncertainty.  I could have written any number of stories on this topic, the one posted is simply the one that comes to mind as a recent example.  I’m a first generation Canadian – my parents and ancestors are British – so you might think moments of intercultural uncertainty don’t happen to me in Canada.

Wrong – and I’m guessing that sentiment cuts right across all the cultural dimensions to be found in this country.  It doesn’t matter whether you have recently arrived in Canada, whether you are Aboriginal, speak French or English as your first language, have lived here five years or all of your life, you’ve had a moment when you’ve encountered some aspect of another culture – or your own – and you found yourself wondering about it.  Perhaps, as I did, you found yourself wondering what you should do.

From the small sample of my own lifelong experience, I know these moments turn into stories that can be illuminating, difficult, humourous, inspiring.   They can seem small in significance – or really large. I am not saying that the experience is the same for all of us – uncertainty feels different, is more daunting, when everything and everyone around you feels unfamiliar.  Still, there is something shared there, something common and I think it’s important to communicate these stories because understanding that we all have moments when we face uncertainty, regardless of cultural background, is a great equalizer.  Sharing what comes out of these moments could be motivation to step into those cultural intersections more often and now we’ll know that chance are – we’re not alone.

Hope I’m not alone after all, and you have a story in this regard you’d like to share – I’d love to hear it and I’m guessing lots of other people would too. Click here to read the story I posted,


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