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Word Connect: 9/7/23 ~ Hair across cultures

Greetings and Happy Midweek!

And it’s September already, so let’s enjoy another Word Connect today. We do this once each month to remind ourselves that words do totally connect us cross-culturally and in so many other ways.* This week’s rather obscure word will fit right into the HOST dimension of our Global SKILLs 3D Dynamics, since it’s important to explore and seek to understand how host community members use style and other traits to define and express themselves. **


Today’s word is ‘hirsute’, which basically means ‘hairy’. I came across it in an article about a unique exhibition on the history of how people have used hair to express themselves (see link below). And it led me down several hirsute related rabbit trails (have you ever felt the amazing smoothness of an angora rabbit’s ‘hair’, by the way?!).

The original connotation of the word was unruly, for head hair and other body hair especially beards. But more contemporary use, like with this current exhibition, also can refer to a wide range of exotic coifs, real and artificial (wigs, extensions, etc).

It makes me think of the hair extension braiding traditions in West Africa where women in cities and villages alike sit for hours, sometimes days, to have their hair arranged in exquisite fashion. Painfully attained (have you ever had tightly pulled braids?!) and at great expense (time-wise and/or financially), at least the resulting hirsute masterpiece can be enjoyed for weeks.

Looking through some of history’s hirsute highlights, I also am currently preparing to participate in an opportunity modern American hair culture offers - for people to donate their hair to make wigs, for cancer patients for example. I haven’t had my hair cut in several years initially due to covid and then also because I was living in a cold climate - to protect my always chilly neck! But now that I live back in hot and humid Florida, I’m planning on doing this myself - and will receive a FREE hair style as well!

So…

What does this have to do with cross-cultural communications and/or global community building? Actually, a lot! Once we dig into these and other hair-based cultural contexts and practices, it quickly becomes evident that hirsute explorations can provide unique cultural keys like socio-economic pursuits of urban and rural women, and like charitable opportunities offered in some places. Check it all out…let’s each have some fun with hirsute possibilities!

How about for you ~ what is a cultural hirsute moment you have experienced?

Share about that with a friend or note it here.

And check out the Global SKILLs LINKs below for more on all this hairy stuff.

Thanks for being part of this Connect community.

Until next week,

Betsy


Global SKILLs LINKs

~ if you too would like to consider donating your hair: https://www.wigsforkids.org/


Notes

* Previous words we’ve had fun with (scroll down here to find these by date): 1/4/23 - tapestry; 2/1/23 - lizards; 3/8/23 - slang; 4/5/23 - mien; 6/7/23 laissez-passer; 7/6/23 - repatriation & rematriation; 8/2/23 - circumlocution

** Through my business Global SKILLs and several partner subsidiaries I offer unique cross-cultural consulting and training including: 3 Dimensional Dynamics Model:

1st dimension = HOME ; 2nd dimension = HOST (which we explored this week); 3rd dimension = HARBOR)

PROACTive Learning Strategies:

PRO = PROfile, PROcess, PROgram

ACT = Application, Collaboration and Transformation

~ contact me for more information on this model and these strategies and how you might use them in your current programming: betsy.barbour@gmail.com


2023 ~ Celebrating 40+ years of working in

intercultural communications and global community building

“It takes a community to build a community”


Please Note: this is copyrighted content.

Please do not reproduce or share without my permission (betsy.barbour@gmail.com)



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