#147 mementos

147/365 mementos, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

The Daily Shoot assignment drew my attention to this gift from our Indian guests last week, placed on a shelf in our staff room.

Shiny things attract attention. Make a photograph of a shiny object and post it today. Focus in on the reflections.

The ceiling light gives it a beautiful shine, and brings out all the details on the plate. If you look carefully, you can also see the reflection of the orange, white and green Indian national flag, which is standing next to the plate.

The Indian group reached home safely today, and our school seems very quiet after the departure of the lively bunch. A lot was learned about intercultural collaboration by us teachers, the visiting students, their hosts and their families. I am sure the visit will have far wider repercusions than can be seen inside the school. When people from very different cultures meet at such a personal level, there is always a certain amount of friction, surprise, culture shock even, but my hope is that with careful reflection and debriefing with teachers, students will, in time, learn invaluable lessons about the importance of understanding and appreciating different perspectives and behaviours.

Some of my colleagues categorically refuse to interact with any of our foreign guests in any way – for reasons I cannot possibly guess. For them, these mementos on the shelf are nothing but irritating, dust-gathering kitsch. For me, looking at the many souvenirs from different colleagues around the world who have visited us, opens up a wonderful world of opportunity, friendship and learning that I honestly feel is essential for the future of our world.

2 Responses to “#147 mementos”

  1. 1 Susan van Gelder
    May 29, 2010 at 15:33

    You are fortunate to be able to have and offer these experiences to your students. It’s only through mutual understanding that we can hope to bring peace to everyone.

  2. 2 sinikka
    June 2, 2010 at 08:46

    I so agree with you Susan. It all takes a lot of teacher networking but when it works out these experiences are really rewarding.

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