Greetings and Happy Midweek!
Several readers of these Connect reflections have asked me how I come up with my focus for each week. Some weeks, I dip into my every growing ‘treasure trove’ of possible topics culled from every day life, past experiences and media sources. Other times, I am inspired by a specific recent event. That is the case this week, as I’ve chosen ‘remembering’ for our cross-cultural topic to explore briefly together. This universal act, in all its diverse forms, fits nicely into the PROcess portion of my Global SKILLs PROACTive training, since across this wide world - people engage with different processes to remember, individually and in community. *
So, on Sunday, we received news from southern Senegal that our village family Matriarch, Deonsoba Sane (from whom I received my Jola name and whom I called Assom, my Aunt),
was in very fragile health. On Monday, I made plans to meet with Assom and the family virtually as soon as possible. I spent hours remembering Assom in the many roles she played during her long and full life serving her family, clan and village there in Senegal as well as during the many years she was part of my own and our family life. I looked back at photos, shared stories with my sons and several friends, prepared what I wanted to say to her - so I would remember how to say it all in Jola! However yesterday morning, before our virtual meeting could happen, we received news that Assom had passed away...
For all who knew and loved her, our grief at losing Assom is deep. Those there in person are comforted by gatherings which will extend for several weeks, including times of remembering Assom through sharing funny, touching, inspiring and perhaps a few difficult-to-recall stories. And if not there in person, like for me, I am comforted knowing she was surrounded by family and friends in her last hours. And I am also hugely comforted through my own remembering process which I’ve already begun with the photos and story sharing. I am also re-entering Jola customs I learned years ago and have practised since, like meeting late yesterday (virtually) with the family to share, in several customary ways, my condolences and a few special memories.
How about you ~ have you ‘remembered’ someone/something crossculturally recently?
Share about that with a friend or note it here.
And check out Global SKILLs LINKs below for additional resources on ways people remember cross-culturally.
Until next week,
Betsy (aka Deonsoba Same)
Global SKILLs LINKs
~ an info sheet on Senegalese funeral practices - note various steps in the remembering process (provided for international students by an organization I interacted with in recent years): https://www.ciee.org/sites/default/files/content/hsib/orientation/senagal.pdf
~ an interesting report from a business culture perspective: https://www.rw-3.com/blog/2013/12/how-culture-affects-memory
* PROACTive Learning Strategies: PROfile, PROcess, PROgram and ACT - Applications, Collaboration and Transitions
~ contact me for more information on these strategies and how you might use them in your current programming
2021 ~ Celebrating 40 years of working in
intercultural communications and global community building
Connecting, Collaborating, Cultivating Community