Hello there! My name is Zoey. But you already know that. If you clicked on this after you read the page “The Concept behind Encreating Culture,” then congratulations. You can assure yourself that you can follow instructions. If you didn’t read that page, then you can assure yourself that you’re a leader not a follower, as you’re someone who doesn’t like to follow instructions. I am warning you though, you might be lost while reading this.
Instead of writing about myself, I will write an open letter to my present and future readers, which through that you will learn more about me as well:
Welcome to my blog! Over here, you will read posts about my passion for culture and global issues. In short, I would like all my readers to learn something new, and for them to understand our world better. Moreover, I want them to think about what they’ve read. And then, share it with others through a discussion in the comments or in real life. Bouncing ideas and thoughts off each other is a healthy way to be individual thinker, understand others, and themselves. And last but not least, I wish amy readers one final yet simple message–we may be divided by borders; but we are all more similar than different than we like to believe. If you think about it, all humans desire the same things: food, shelter, love, family, etc.
Thus, a lot of world issues are made through judgement, misunderstandings, stereotypes, myths, ignorance, anger, hatred, and pain. I want to challenge those thoughts and make my readers realize some things aren’t always what they seem. Some are so clouded through narrow-minded ways of thinking that it is a problem. And that makes me sad.
As an international student, I have met people from all over the world from different countries, ethnicities, religions, cultures, and more. Growing up as a child, I cherished and valued the fact I had the chance to meet so many types of people. I learned so much from my peers, and they all have shaped me into the person I am today. Each and every one of them have given me insights about their culture that I would have never known or understood if it had not been for them.
I realize not everyone is like me. Not everyone has the chance to travel around the world, see new sights, and meet new people. Many I know don’t even have a passport because they never needed–or worst off–can’t get one. For example, according to one of my Palestinian classmates, a Palestinian cannot have a passport. They do have a ‘travel document,’ but it makes life very difficult.
As a result, their world is one country. Or just one city. And that’s all they will ever know. The only way they see things about other countries is through the news. And we all know how warped the news can be at times. They show the extremes of various cultures. They focus on the negative and not the positive. This bothered me, but then I realized negative news creates more attention. We all tend to naturally focus on the negative because that’s just how our brains are wired.
I can’t give everyone free tickets, a passport, and the will to push oneself out of their comfort zone to meet people from a completely different culture. I know those who haven’t met others around the world, can find it difficult. Making new friends can be hard sometimes. But what I can do is provide information with those with an open mind who are willing to challenge their outdated ways of thinking. Hopefully, they too, will share with others what they have learnt. And the information gets circulated. Of course, it won’t be perfect. Some are too rigid in their ways of thinking for anything to change. But I can at least try and do my part.
Another reason I started this blog was because I cannot find much content on the internet about being an international citizen or an expat. In other words, there is nothing for me to vicariously enjoy through reading about someone’s similar lifestyle. Like anything else, there are ups and downs of being such a ‘label’. When you haven’t interacted with others outside your home country, you subconsciously believe your home country is the best. As an international kid, I don’t see my home country any better or worse than the others. Every country (even developed countries) around the world has its quirks, positives, and negatives.
My intention is not to brag or downcast any country. But to show each one in its true light. And how will I do that? Through guest bloggers of course! Wait, did you really think I was going to write all that information by myself? Where would I get the experiences of being a Muslim in America? A missionary kid in Africa? Inside perspective and opinions on the Arab uprising? I can’t write from the perspective of a Native American because I don’t see the world that way. As a result, my goal is to interview all types of people from all over the world. And to give these misrepresented groups a voice.
As I said earlier, I strongly believe that we all can learn from each other if we all take out the time to listen to each and every one of us has to say. And in this case, we can definitely learn about what nationals have to say about their country. Unfortunately, I can’t interview every Scottish person in the world. But I can interview one or two. The point for these interviews are to give the reader an idea about a country. Think of it like a blurb to a book. You read the blurb and you get curious. You want to know more. So you ask around, read, and watch videos. And so, your worldview grows into something more profound.
- Struggles that only third-culture-kids go through.
- What does it mean to be a global citizen?
- Why I struggle with my cultural identity.
- Anything to do with culture: books, movies, music, art, history…the liberal arts…
And many more. Later on, I’ll add features like weekly food for thought posts. Or I’ll share something weird, funny, or scary. Anything that captures my attention. Of course, my readers are very important to me, so I will welcome any suggestions. I cannot guarantee I will use every one, as it may not fit with the theme of the blog, but I will appreciate any constructive criticism and feedback. Think of this blog as your informational and entertainment blog all rolled in one.
So please stick around and explore. Leave a comment that will start a healthy and interesting discussion. Or you can always send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will always read every e-mail, and respond to them when and if I can.
Now, I’ll list 20 facts about me for bonus material since you decided to stick around and read everything up until this point:
- I live in the wonderful city called Dubai.
- I am Indian using a fake name. This allows me to be more authentic, as I don’t have to worry about certain people reading it.
- I am 18 years old, and glad I’m not 13-17 anymore. Those years were a very awkward and confusing period of my life. I feel much more secure in my identity, principles, and beliefs. Right now, I feel much more sane.
- I love traveling and meeting people from all over the world. I wonder which job would allow me to just that…
- I l want to become a full-fledged writer one day and have my work published in a famous newspaper like The New York Times. That is my ultimate dream.
- I’ve always been a voracious reader since I was a child. Growing up, I heavily delved into fantasy and fiction. As of now, my reading habits are a lot more diverse to the point where I enjoy reading non-fiction and graphic novels.
- I have an obsession with music. I listen to music every single day. My favorite genres are alternative, edm, pop-punk, and rock music. Leave me a music recommendation. 😉
- Adding to my music passion, I have played the piano for 12 years now. I recently started learning a second instrument which is the drums. And I also bought a ukulele this year, where I pretend I’m a maestro but fail. Eventually, I want to learn the harp, cello, and the list goes on…
- I don’t fit in the regular box of what it means to be an Indian. Or how an Indian should be. This can create some issues with my parents and family.
- I love creating and the form of creative expression through any shape or form. Which means writing, reading, art, dancing, and music. I haven’t discovered any other creative forms that I know or like though.
- I wish everyone was paid the same amount of money, so we wouldn’t strive towards jobs that are called ‘safe.’ But then I realize, that concept is called communism. And unfortunately, communism doesn’t work.
- I have a baby-face, so it confuses strangers when I talk in a very intellectual and articulate way because they assume I’m in my early teens.
- Most teenagers hate talking to adults because they think they’re boring. And then you have me who is the exact opposite of that stereotype because I happen to gravitate towards anything and anyone that has more knowledge than I do. Believe me, I know it’s odd.
- I hate liars and arrogant people. To me, liars who are insecure in who they are. And bigoted ones are those who think they know everything. Which is ridiculous, because no one can know everything–ever.
- I also hate judgmental people who make silly arbitrary assumptions about a person. Although, I’m not perfect, I try my hardest to not judge wherever I go.
- I love antique, used bookstores, and boutiques. They have much more character and charm then a regular chain store. Plus, they’re much more fun to explore and get ideas.
- My header explains that my blog will evolve over time.
- My favorite quote is called “your life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Any time I’m scared to try something new, I repeat this quote like a mantra and take the plunge. Until now, I have never regretted it.
- My favorite color is green. There is something so spiritual, healing, and nourishing about that color. Runners-up include yellow, orange, red, and blue.
- For social media, I only use Facebook, YouTube, Goodreads, Skype, and Gmail. Which is rather low for a millennial.