I have always been intrigued by the differences ( as well as the similarities between and across cultures.) For example, in so many cultures, breads are important additions to many meals. How many cultures can you think of that use a flat bread, often in a circular or oval shape?
This past holiday season, I was treated to two more examples of the mixing of cultures via dress. One might even call them icons, inasmuch as the elements served as representatives of different cultures. The picture to the right is one example: a delightful pre-schooler wearing Minnie Mouse socks and Indian anklets with tiny bells (called jhanjara). It was easy to hear her coming as she joyfully tripped from one room to the other, those little bells around her ankles tinkling with each step.
Yet another example was an East Asian woman wearing a beautiful red Salwar Kameez outfit. Because the outside temperature was much colder than she preferred, she had topped her traditional Indian dress with a gorgeous wool Norwegian sweater perfect for protection against the chill!
In considering how poorly the representatives of different nations sometimes communicate with each other, I was struck with how “right” it seems to see the above combinations of different cultural dress. I suspect the attitudes of the wearers also reflects the acceptance and melding of different cultures as well.
Here’s to every individual embracing the wide variety of cultures and their values in our world, irrespective of national boundaries and languages!