I am NOT a Star Wars fan.
I have tried to watch the Star War movies at different stages of my life, but I get bored with all the galactic action and could never get into it. Up until now, it has never been a problem. I managed to go through life without engaging with the topic and I don’t think anyone has noticed.
But things have changed. I was outvoted by the males in my life and dragged to the Star Wars exhibition at the Montreal Science Center. I tried to bargain a wait at the Scandinavian Spa across the street, but I lost. And that is how I ended up immersed in this culture, as foreign to me as tribal culture in the middle of Africa.
I decided to use this opportunity to expand my cultural horizons, and approached this visit as I would any other more conventional travel to unknown cultures. I don’t have to become one of them, but I can be open-minded enough to appreciate them.
With that frame of mind, I actually enjoyed the experience. The exhibition builds on the concept of identity creation, and has interactive activities to help visitors identify sources of influences on their behavior. Using segments of the Star War movies they discuss how family, culture, personality, and experiences shape who we are and influence our behavior. I have enjoyed that framing very much and even become a little curious to get to know the inhabitants of this world a little better.
In the end, this was a reminder that we do not need to go very far to learn from different cultures and perspectives. There is plenty to learn right here, with people who look just like us.
Have you tried anything ‘foreign’ to you lately?