Greetings and Happy Midweek!
There have been some interesting stories in the news lately about space exploration and planetary movements, etc.* All of it seems fascinating to me but also very much ‘way out there’. And yet, we do often experience how ‘the universe’ impacts and enlightens us here on earth. So I thought we’d linger today on one cross-cultural facet of ‘other worlds’. This fits nicely with the Applications strategy in our Global SKILLs PROACTive training - taking knowledge or a skill we use in one domain and applying it to a new domain.**
When I lived in the village in southern Senegal, there was a malady which affected many people - medically it is called conjunctivitis (an inflammation of the eyelids). At one point, several members of our village family were suffering from this, and I learned they called it “Apollo”. This cultural label for the physical condition had its origin in the first time people walked on the moon several decades earlier! Apparently, at the time of the Apollo moon-landing mission, there was a epidemic of conjunctivitis…and word spread that the condition, aptly named “Apollo” at that time, was caused people on earth looking at people on the moon - something which seemed perhaps frightening or impossible or just not right.
I have often thought of this ‘Application’ as both intriguing and cautionary. It’s intriguing because it’s a fine example of local knowledge (of what causes a physical ailment) being informed by events with global impact (humans going up into space and walking on the moon). It’s cautionary because it illustrates how misleading social constructs (like local interpretations that the moon-walk being the cause of a malady) can become embedded in a culture…contributing to, in one sense, a different world order.
That may seem like a lot to take from an “Apollo” outbreak in a rural village…but we do it all the time in different ways, don’t we? We observe and interpret things in the world around us within and outside our own cultures, using our existing knowledge and skills. We then create ‘other worlds’, based on new perspectives and applications we choose to make. In these other worlds, cross-cultural understandings and interactions can be very different, sometimes difficult - and, I think, always worth our investigation!
How about you ~ what is one example of a cross-cultural ‘other world’ construct you have experienced?
Share about that with a friend or note it here.
And check out the Global SKILLs LINKs below for a few additional samples of ‘other worlds’.
Thanks for being part of this Connect community.
Until next week,
* One of this week’s news stories about the alignment of two ‘other worlds’: https://www.space.com/moon-venus-jupiter-display-april-2022
** PROACTive Learning Strategies: PRO = PROfile, PROcess, PROgram
ACT = Applications (which we looked at today), Collaboration and Transformation ~ contact me for more information on these strategies and how you might use them in your current programming
Global SKILLs LINKs
~ Love this guide to creating ‘other worlds’: https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-write-a-believable-world
~ ‘other worlds’ insights from socio-cultural considerations in the engineering domain: http://anthroengineer.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-cultures-influence-of-our-worldview.html
2022 ~ Celebrating 40+ years of working in
intercultural communications and global community building
“It takes a community to build a community”
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