How alike am I to you.

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A few years ago I remember somebody joking that in CISV kids are prepared and trained in a way, that they shake off their own cultural background an obtain a "CISV culture", so that when they finally meet in a camp, they all have the same culture and will easily have a happy experience together. Of course, this is not entirely true, but the  main thing highlighted by this idea is that CISV emphasizes alikeness over difference - and that's a problem.

For the Village programme you could argue that finding out that kids from different nations are not so different at all could serve as one of the main objective., but for all of the other 6 programmes we should move beyond and explore and discover differences instead. I'm not talking about differences in obvious things like language, cloths, etc, but differences in the way we behave and think - the true deep-rooted strains of our cultural differences. I'm worried that we are still far from the stage of actually having the tools to do just that.

Still some work to be done.

Kudos to Tamara/USA for this one.

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We are all different but can be one, yet remain different - that's how things should go. Yes when kids get prepared for a camp, ideas of alikeness and of a "CISV culture" gets fostered in their mind, which is completely normal and healthy. But the problem lies when that culture becomes their only culture and they forget their own culture before, at, or after the camp.

The IJB/IYM theme packet on Identity distinguishes the different identities or cultures one has - and emphasizes that we have personal identities and a CISV identity, so two of our programs are already on the way to doing it, and Seminars are tackling such subjects sometime in their activities, but in general I agree, we are far beyond being able to grow beyond the physical culture and get into the mental culture.

"...different race and different land, here we come to understand, one another's point of view, learning through the things we do, how alike am I to you"

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This page contains a single entry by Nick published on August 13, 2010 1:32 AM.

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