Xenophobia

Oh! I can’t tell you how happy I was to find something to write about for the letter X! I won’t lie, it’s been stressing me out. I was all over the place … from x-rays to x-men to “X marks the spot”. Then I was thinking of being cheeky and heading down the road of Xtreme sports or some other misspelling. I have a confession to make though … I even considering kind of cheating. I asked a good friend of mine, who is a blogger and author, to write a guest post for me about a funny experience he had with x-rays and strip searches. And then … a light bulb moment! But before I get to the light bulb … please feel free to head over and check out my friend’s blog  … I would never have even thought about starting a blog if it weren’t for him. I read his work for years and threw ideas at him for topics, before deciding to give it a go myself and he has been supportive and interested in my progress in to this foreign territory. Speaking of foreign … that’s a nice intro into today’s topic: Xenophobia. Lets start by defining the word:

xenophobia
noun
  • dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries.

Unfortunately this is something that exists in most countries. I put it down to a fear of the unknown or a dislike of anything that is different, in this case different cultures. I see it as an irrational dislike. It reminds me of being a child … you know, when mum or dad would put something on the table for dinner and you’d say “I don’t like it” even when you hadn’t even tried it yet. Or when you are grocery shopping and you see your favourite cookies available from several different brands but you steer towards the one you always stick with … not game to venture beyond the norm and sample something different because you’re comfortable or you’re sure that your usual is the best anyway!

So, what’s the answer to Xenophobia? Easy. Travel and an open mind. By getting out there and seeing the world. Experience other cultures and get to know people from other countries. And if you are unable to travel far or not beyond your borders at all for some reason – just get out and mingle with foreign visitors, or those who have immigrated, in your own backyard. The world is a small place now. There are countless opportunities to learn first hand. It’s all about getting out of your own cultural bubble and trying out someone else’s. Don’t just take my word for it. Mark Twain, who was clearly a better writer than I, summed it up perfectly in one of my favourite quotes:

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imagine taken from google

 

This post is part of my contribution to the A-Z Challenge for April 2016

Click here for a list and links to all my challenge posts!

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38 thoughts on “Xenophobia”

  1. Ah X is for Xenophobia! Thanks for introducing us an interesting term! I loved that quote by Mark Twain! And it was fun to notice how this letter got you so much panicking.You managed it nicely and your write up and your advice is really good! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So true. Such a shame isn’t it, Jacqueline? I don’t understand it. I gain so much enjoyment from learning about other cultures. It doesn’t make me less proud of my own but it does add a richness to my life that I wouldn’t get if I chose to be fearful and hateful towards foreigners.
      Have a wonderful Thursday! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What a timely piece Kim, Xenophobia, sadly, is more present than ever! 😦 Such a shame.
    And true, travel is one of the cures, it’s simply amazing meeting people and letting them break the walls of perception one has of a certain culture.

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  3. Such an important issue you have flagged up today Kim. It would seem travel and understanding other cultures would stop Xeno phobia and I am sure it could work unfortunately it is on of those things that usually gets drummed into people until they are so conditioned to hate. There is a huge problem with illegal refugees fleeing Zimbabwe to cross the border into South Africa. This influx on refugees has got the black majority living in S.A. on the hostile front. They believe that they are taking all their jobs and jobs are so scarce as it is. I don’t think most Black people in S.A. sadly will get the chance to travel and I do 100% believe the repressive governments of this world use this card a lot to divide people more. It is a great weapon in deflecting the light off government activities . Great post though. This has been one of my favourites – I’ve loved the journey you have taken me on but this was soemthing a bit different :: I am yet to do my W 😀 xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Daisy. I completely agree. I’ve seen a lot of footage of the violence in S.A. against these refugees from other African nations. Some really horrific stuff going on there at the moment. You’re so right, a lot of people in South Africa may not be in a financial position to travel – and keeping an open mind and getting to know foreigners moving into the country is indeed impacted by other external factors, like government. Don’t even get me started on Zuma!
      I’m so glad you enjoyed this! As the challenge finishes up I’ll be writing more varied content … Still doing snapshots but less of them 😀
      Looking forward to what you come up with for W! Xx

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  4. A great place to start is also by eating at restaurants with different cuisines. It’s a lot of fun to try something new and get a taste of another culture (sorry couldn’t resist the pun…). It’s especially fun if you can find a smaller family owned business because then you can talk to the owners, learn about their life and culture, get to know and understand their story better. Great post Kim! I agree, travel is detrimental to xenophobia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly right, Niki. You don’t need to go far to be able to get a taste of a foreign culture (I liked the pun by the way lol). Most cities as rather multicultural now – sometimes all you need do is find a local restaurant, maybe one run by a new arrival in your homeland! Glad you enjoyed the post! xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think France is alone in that. We have it here too. Recent terrorists attacks globally aren’t helping either but we only let those small-minded people win if we start to view the world through a prism of hatred and fear.

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  5. Very nice post. I remember when I did my first medical missions trip to the mountain areas of the Dominican Republic, their lifestyles and customs were so different than mine. I tried to soak up as much local interaction as I possibly could. I went in with a little fear about the differences, but came out so much wiser and blessed and amazed by my beautiful new friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What an amazing experience that must have been, Dawn! How long were you there?
      And your story illustrates so beautifully the point of my post. Incredible the good that can come from having an open mind & being willing to interact and immerse yourself in cultures foreign to your own.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Kim,I had my eye on Xenophobia but then I saw your post on the word and I knew I had lost it. As a last ditch effort I then put up something on Xenodochial meaning friendly to strangers titled Xenodochial Mouse 🙂 Such fun A to Z challenge has been, gave me some very anxious moments!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw your wonderfully poetic post. And very unique too, I’ve not come across Xenodochial before. I’ve seen several posts on Xenophobia and they’ve all brought something different to the discussion. Quite funny really, X went from being a letter I was not looking forward to, to being one with many great blog posts! I can’t quite believe we’ve nearly made it to the end of the challenge! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How true Kim!!! Your posts always bring out a great ache in me,that gnawing ache to travel ….
        I had great fun reading so many great blogs…next time though I intend to prepare myself early, which is unlikely,knowing me as I do 🙂
        Btw I tried to parody Dolly Parton’s Islands in the stream in Xenodochial Mouse ..Not sure if it worked well…So the poetry is hers..mine is a take on what she wrote..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you! I’m glad my posts inspire you to want to get out there and travel a bit.
        I must admit, I don’t think I’d have made it through the challenge if I hadn’t written down a subject heading for each day prior to the start of April 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Very well-phrased, Kim. When I saw your word, it cracked me up. Not because it is a funny word, it isn’t at all and to be honest, it is the best X-word to write about and introduce to people. And, so is its solution (great quote from Twain!). No, it cracked me up, because, guess what I wrote about for the X-letter, the most stubborn of them all? Well, not quite xenophobia, but pretty much related!

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I completely agree, with both your post and the quote! Sometimes it takes me a little while to work up the nerve to go somewhere new, or even try something new, but when I finally do, I am always so very glad. Traveling and meeting people from other cultures opens us up on so many levels….. Thanks, Kim!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ann! I’m so glad you agree. I like what you’ve said about how meeting people from other cultures opens us up on many levels. You’re right, it’s such a learning experience … Not just about others but it also reveals new things about our own nature. And new chances to grow!

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  9. Great post, thank you. Few things come close to helping with xenophobia, and traveling sure is one great way to open the mind, see that other cultures aren’t as scary as they seem from our favorite armchair in from of a TV that shows nothing but manipulated news.
    Love Mark Twain’s quote.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Silvia. Glad you enjoyed it and the quote. You’re right, sitting at home watching TV isn’t exactly helping people with their fear and mistrust of other cultures. Mixing with others really is the best way!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You’ve reached ‘X’! Congratulations, Kim! I wouldn’t have lasted that long. And it’s an excellent topic for the letter. 🙂 Travel opens our mind and tries to undo years of conditioning. And then, we head back home. And desperately try keeping our minds open! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, Cheryl! Travel is half the story really … the trick is to absorb and learn from what we’ve seen and experienced.
      I can’t tell you how surprised I am to have completed the challenge! I was so hesitant to start and now that it’s done I’m almost missing it 🙂 LOL

      Liked by 1 person

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