Monday, December 19, 2011

Coz I dream of a world where the chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned...

So I've gone from the role of Teacher to Web DeveloperProgrammerOnline Content Manager seemingly overnight. I'm obviously oozing mad skills and talent that apparently, I didn't even know I had. Last week marked the end of a hectic month (I teach month-long courses) and the end of the academic/work year at the institute. But The Boss had other things in mind for me and following a couple of days of training, I found myself being thrown in the deep end, followed by a whole lot of oh-shits.

On the other end of the spectrum that is my life... it's that time of the year again when I have to explain to my 6 year old second cousin Caitlin why she has a huge Christmas tree in her lounge and we don't; or why our cousin Layla's blonde hair and blue eyes doesn't automatically mean that she's Christian; or why Uncle Johnny's shoes are in the street while he's passed out under the kitchen table again. Hey, I never said my family is perfect.

And it's the same answer every year... just because we are different and we have different beliefs and practices, it doesn't mean that we don't love each other any less. What it does mean is that we love each other enough to respect the differences and accept each other for who we are.

So I come from a family that is more than just diverse, on a scale and magnitude that is both intimidating and overwhelming to many pure breeds. Try explaining those family dynamics to a potential mate from the normal gene pool - never mind the traditional folk - and things are complicated by default. Where I come from, normal just doesn't fly.

In any case, working with foreign nationals on a daily basis has made me more than just grateful for my fruit-salad-family. For one, I've taken it to heart that at least I have a family, since a staggering number of my students are displaced from their families and a solid 95% of them have various members of their immediate families scattered all over the world. Most of them have fled from wars or political, social or economic instability.

It's not uncommon to find a student who for instance, has one parent in Australia and the other parent in London or New York, and a sibling in Canada or Portugal and they are here either all by their lonesome or with an aunt or uncle. Most of them are Professionals and some even come from privledged backgrounds, but they're all equally lonely and yearning for a piece of home.

For many of us, this is something that we tend to take for granted. And it's only when I come across someone who is without their family that I realise how grateful I am for mine. We may not share the same culture, practices or beliefs, but we can still appreciate each other for who we are. And that is what Caitlin is going to have to learn one day.

I'd like to wish my Christian family, friends, blogger friends and readers a happy Christmas. And to everyone else, have a great festive season!

8 comments:

  1. Ah, I feel for your lonely students, no doubt yearning for a momma figure to comfort them and make them dinner. Their behaviour towards you has suddenly become very comprehensible.

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  2. Azra,

    What did I ever do without your clear discerning wit in my life?

    I'd never claim we are alike but I believe we share some important philosophies...to say nothing of our mutual intolerance for fake people and the attendant bullshit. 

    I wanted to say something about "pure breeds." Bunk! There is no such thing. If we could calculate and store the genealogical data of the billions of souls that have existed in the past we'd find that we are all related to each other. Who your relatives of memory were or from means nothing except where your family comes from today. If you took a common DNA test it would show the truth of it. 

    Case in point: Snoop Dog (we all know who that is?) took a challenge issued by George Lopez (ok, so you may not know him. He's a comedian and talk show host) to take a DNA test and see who was "Blacker" (yes, I said blacker) him or Charles Barkley (basketball star I think). Who do you think was more African American (they both appear very black)?

    Barkley won with his DNA running straight back to northern Africa I believe. 

    Snoop Dog? Ha! American Indian and thence back across the bearing straight land bridge into Asia long ago. 

    The sooner humanity realizes we are one being the sooner we can dispense with useless bigotry, nationalism, and racism. An while we are at it we need to stop referring to the female as the weaker sex. All sensible people know women are the superior sex. 

    Dean
    Http://leftcoastguy.com

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  3. Having a diverse family is awesome, i get to celebrate xmas and eid and everthing in between :) I wouldnt ask for anything diffrent how exciting can a so called pure breed's life be? lol just kidding

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  4. Aww, Azra! Your family sounds awesome. :) And I know Caitlin will appreciate your patience in explaining these things to her. ;)
    Your blog post brought on a bit of self-pity, alas, I am back in Spain and D-Man will be working the entire holidays at the hospital. A bottle of wine, a nice homemade meal for one, and a stack of books/cheesy movies sounds like this year's Merry Christmas to me!

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  5. You should bring that attractive soccer star home with you during the break. He's likely dying for you to offer. :D ~hugs~ Then you should write me and tell me all about it.

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  6. GB
    I'm sure it explains a lot concerning their needy behaviour. I'm by no means qualified to be anyone's momma - not yet :)

    LCG
    Dean, that is so interesting about Snoop Dogg. And you're right, we all come from the same place and hence, we're all related and interconnected. Not many people are aware of this. Thanks for reminding me :)

    Nadia
    Yeah, I'm guessing not very exciting. Coming from a diverse background surely makes family meetings and events quite entertaining! ;)

    Michi
    Aww Mich, don't be too sad. I'm spending Christmas watching Seasons 3 to 5 of House and eating all my favourite food. Enjoy this downtime, after your dissertation, you've earned it!

    Angie
    LOL, I would have Angie, but he's in Europe at the moment playing in the snow - which is in sharp contrast to the heat we have here at this time of the year.

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  7. I visit rarely, but when I finally make it over here, it's like a FEAST! :) Thank you!

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