Avalon again 2005

Avalon again 2005

Friday, May 4, 2007

"You and I"

Today’s presentation by Roy Blumenthal was one of the most exciting experiences of the world of work training programme so far. In fact, his presentation helped me understand that at the work-place and in life, in general, individuality and your own personal identity are the most effective means by which you project and expose yourself.
In fact, when I came to South Africa in August 2000, I thought that the only way for me to integrate successfully into the South African society was to abandon my values, habits and principles that I acquired in Bulgaria. Believe it or not, this was a wrong strategy and in fact, people in South Africa liked me for who I was-at times a little bit naughty, crazy and too wild. Later on, I understood that your identity and your personality are unique and you should not be ashamed of it. At the end of the day, people like you for who you are and not for whom you are pretending to be.
In this regard, Roy’s session helped me understand once again that we should be proud of our own identity and uniqueness, and not feel ashamed to express it in any given situation. As he stated, all of us are unique and all of us will be remembered in one way or another. Thanks, Roy, thank you, guys!
I would like just to add something to that. As much as people should strive to preserve their roots and identity, they should also try to learn from each other and be keen on opening to other peoples’ cultures and backgrounds. Again, my experience in South Africa taught me that one should try and understand other peoples’ cultures and environments, and assess the historical conditions from which all social relationships have emerged from (in this particular country). Tolerance and mutual understanding are required for one to understand other people and yet this effort helps you also learn new things and develop yourself in different directions. In my own case, South Africa contributed to my intellectual and spiritual development and I am grateful to anybody who took participation into this.


Thomas Blaser said...

Wow, how could I have missed the session. Well, its all about the money...I am also thankful for experiences of other places. And especially South Africa. People always ask me why on earth would I choose to be here. But I think societies with struggle, drama and real challenges are also so worthwhile to live in. It makes you feel alive.

Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

You guys are spot on. I think everyone should travel and spend time in a different cultural zone. You never get to know people if you do not 'open' up your mind to new environments and experiences. I cannot believe how much I have learnt about myself living here these past few years. It has been wonderful, and you're absolutely right Thomas, I feel so alive!!

Roy Blumenthal said...

Thanks Valentin! Much appreciated.

Blue skies

Susan Arthur said...

Doing this course has been a great experience for me to meet all of you from all over Africa and different parts of the world. In South Africa there are diverse cultures, but we don't necessarily mix- people tend to stick together. So it's been good to be exposed to differences of opinion and view points on life. Thanks everyone!

themba nyauza said...

Thanks,valentin.Perhaps i could add on to what you have stated here. Think about it this way - would you prefer it that people make judgement of you on the fake persona that you appear to be projecting or would it be much more meaningful that people make jugdements on the true you? Valentin who is true to himself, warts and all? There are wise words that i happen to come across some time back in my high school days - that "by being true to yourself you will always have reasons for your actions".
As regards to culture i do not believe that culture is cast in stone. It evolves with the changing times. There are some commonalities between all cultural spheres.