Ever watched one of those banking or social media ads and heard the phrase “global village?” If you’re a millennial (born after 1995) then you’ve probable come across this phrase so much that it’s become a cliché these days. Wikipedia will tell you that the new reality of the digital age has implications for forming new socially meaningful structures within the context of culture by interchanging messages, stories, opinions, posts, through channels on telecommunication pathways.
For us Ugandans, the integration into the global village has been a gradual but promising process, with us the younger people being more embracing of other people’s culture and ideologies. Actually, on a whole, Ugandans are a very hospitable people; one of the reasons Uganda was the number 4 tourist destination for 2017 according to CNN travel.
But a lot can be said for the rest of the world however. The peoples of today are, and for a long time have been, in constant misunderstandings with each other, mainly because of their approach to understanding one another. From many of the Sci-fi movies I’ve watched, it’s often said that people are afraid of what they do not know; what they do not understand. Usually the movie is referring to aliens, but could not be any more true when it comes to human connection. One people today often has many misconceptions of media feeds which are either politically biased or are just not well thought-out and researched.
I’ll give some examples. Through Twitter I recently came across a blog belonging to a one Catherine Nalule. (Follow the link and check it out. It’s awesome!) In one of her blog posts she described a trip to Macau, China and mentioned how she was surprised to notice that the misconceptions her friends and relatives and the media had given her of China were mostly wrong!
“Be careful Catherine! They’re scared of black people over there!”
People are going to want pictures with you and mistake you for Serena Williams!”
“You might get killed”
“Abo abachina balya embwa!”(They eat dog!)
The people there were actually kind and friendly to her.
Another friend of mine, Jagen , has been living in Kosovo( an Eastern European country many of you probably aren’t familiar with) for the past couple of months. He told me that he was surprised by how the people there were very friendly with him despite being black.
I think you can see what I’m trying to get at here. We, as well as other Africans elsewhere around the world, believe that existing in a predominantly white community anywhere in the world will spell trouble. This is not the case. Don’t get me wrong, various sections of the global Caucasian (white) of African people, or any other race for that matter, but know that they do not represent everyone else.
I believe that to achieve a more economically as well as culturally harmonious global environment then our approach to all each other has to change.
This applies to you as an individual. Approach all the people you meet with and open mind, where ever they are from. Even when they have beliefs and ideologies that you might not agree with, respect that, and don’t let it get in the way of a fruitful relationship. Trust me you will be very surprised with what you find.
See you next week!