Culture & Des Moines
On our Facebook fan page I asked what came to people’s mind when they thought of Des Moines and culture. It is only fair that I answer this question as well. What comes to my mind is possibility, discovery and celebration.
Possibility comes to mind when I think that we have over 30 cultures represented in Des Moines. Can you imagine what is possible? What does this mean to our education system, our businesses and our communities? As the world becomes more connected and we have more opportunities to interact with people from other cultures, how does our own cultural diversity in Des Moines help us prepare for the not so distant future? Again, what are the possibilities?
Discovery because we have so much more to learn and understand; not only about a particular culture but about how to approach culture on both micro and macro levels. One example I’m going to give is a conversation I had with a friend over the weekend. As we were talking they used the word “melting pot”. I asked them why it was important for them to think about culture in this way. They said “Well, why not?” I asked them what we were all melting into, or what would happen if we did not “melt”. From there we had an even deeper conversation from which we got a deeper sense of one another. Also, when I shared with them that I saw culture in our conversation, youth as a whole, environment, etc. they said, “What?” They were intrigued by the fact that my view of culture goes beyond different countries. This took our conversation into yet another direction. As a community we have much to discover when it comes to culture, on a both micro and macro level. And, the good news is that we are already doing many great things!
Celebration because, as it was mentioned on our Facebook fan page, we can have a music concert from around the world right here in our community; performed by the local community members. Imagine the possibilities. But, celebration is not limited to concerts. Celebration also happens when we ask one another for coffee or dinner; when we build communities that understand the differences and respect them. Celebration is having opportunities for young people to thrive in ,right here in Des Moines. Celebration is possible when we see the possibilities and discover things outside of our current knowledge and understanding.
So, Des Moines. How will visitors describe our culture?