Being multicultural: barriers and challenges
In this article, I would like to talk about linguistic and cultural barriers. As you might know, living in a country where you have little or no-knowledge of the local language can be a real challenge. And that it’s definitely my case, as my expertise in Ukrainian language is not enough to understand informal conversations and discussions about complex topics. This very often results for me in feeling excluded from the external environment. Your perceptions of reality change a lot, as you don’t understand things as they really are, but as your imagination thinks them to be. Also people are not real, but they are the result of your mind processing information is not sure about.
Moreover, very often you feel invisible as for other people you simply don’t exist. And despite your big efforts to be open, helpful and smiling with all kind of people you encounter in your way, sometimes you don’t receive the same attentions. Better said, you receive them only when someone needs you. So that everyone will turn to you extremely kind and polite ( sometimes even not) asking you to perform a great variety of actions as for example validating others’ tickets on the tram.
In other words, it seems that people consider you only because they need you to be there at that precise moment. And that’s all. So my question very often has been “how to feel appreciated for who you really are?” Such a big one, you might think. Right, totally true, I am sure I am not the only one struggling with this feeling. And when I am abroad, far from my family and closest friends, I think this feeling is even stronger due to the desire of fitting in and very often due to the frustration resulting from trying to merge with locals.
However, the event I am participating in, that is See Beyond art residence, gave me the answer. Better said, all beautiful young people participating in this workshop gave me the answer. And this is precisely Art and Music. In fact, both of them can involve a bunch of people from diverse cultural backgrounds and context without them having to speak the same language. And they will understand and feel understood. And that’s because, as one girl told me “You don’t need to understand Art, but to feel Art. So I will just imagine my EVS experience to be an Art Theatre Performance. People surrounding me to be pure Music and Art. I will be both spectator and protagonist. Because only through this way I will be close to the True meaning of this experience. And I will finally understand it and feel understood.