The best of both cultures

CPLP Talks 4

CPLP Charlotte Rémié


CPLP Charlotte Rémié

Charlotte Rémié discovered Initiatives of Change through her parents in 2012. She took part in the Caux Interns Programme and was a participant of the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme (CPLP) in 2017. After that, there was no turning back on the path of self-discovery and discovery of others. After three years working with the International Committee of the Red Cross, she decided to devote some time to  personal development.

'I am originally from Rwanda but was born and raised in Switzerland. I spent my childhood and adolescence in environments that had little diversity. I was mainly in contact with Swiss culture outside my home and Rwandan culture at home.

These two cultures are very different and even contradictory. For someone like me, who was trying to build and understand their own identity, it was really disturbing at times. I thought I had to choose between them; to choose which would be ‘the best’ and represent ‘the truth’ for me. But this meant letting go of a part of myself. Even though I knew that this solution wasn’t working for me, I couldn't see any alternative.

After growing up in a culturally dichotomous environment, my experience in Caux was striking and enriching. It gave me the opportunity to question my interpretation of culture and to put it into perspective. It was the first time that I had been surrounded by people of all ages, coming from all over the world, each with their own history and reason for being there.

I realized that having two cultures is not a burden but a richness and that I am lucky to be able to take the best of both.

I specifically remember the Map of the World exercise we did during my time in Caux. Its purpose was to show that nothing is all black and white and that the perspective you have on something is influenced by a lot of factors, one of which is the culture you grow up in. This exercise made me realize that neither of the cultures that I was made up of held absolute truth and that I didn’t have to choose between them. I realized that having two cultures is not a burden but a richness and that I am lucky to be able to take the best of both.

All the cultures with which I have rubbed shoulders, combined with the tools I acquired during the Caux Interns and CPLP workshops, have helped me to accept the differences that cohabit within me. From there I can build my own culture/life philosophy/identity by combining the beautiful things I observe in the cultures around me.'


Discover more CPLP Talks articles on culture and its impact:


The Caux Peace and Leadership Talks (CPLP Talks) is an online space where stories can be shared and connections made. This series is hosted and facilitated by the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme Alumni as a two-way discussion. It offers an opportunity to listen to young voices from around the world, get inspired and engage with one another.

If you wish to be part of an online conversation with other Alumni of the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme on 13 March 2021 at 14:00 CET (13:00 GMT) and share your thoughts and feelings on the topic of culture and identity, you can sign up through this link:


           REGISTER HERE



Featured Story

related stories

CPLP Talks 8 square article 2

Remaking the World: Experiences from Mexico, Germany and Colombia

Discover inspiring initiatives of Caux Peace and Leadership alumni from Mexico, Colombia and Germany....

CPLP Talks 8 Tema

Remaking the World: Experiences from Eswatini and Colombia

The eighth edition of the CPLP Talks recognizes the courage shown by CPLP alumni in responding to the challenges that the world is facing. Below alumni from Eswatini and Colombia describe intiatives t...

Zeindab Dilati

A journey, not a destination

One year after the devastating explosion in Beirut, we meet Zeinab Dilati (also known as Zee) who took part in the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme in 2017, 2018 and 2019 as a participant, practiti...

Valentina CPLP Talks 6

'How do I talk about peace?'

'How do I talk about peace in what feels like the most unequal country in Latin America? How to generate social and sustainable development in a country with an internal war lasting more than 60 years...

Manuela Garay 2021

'I could see that my contribution was meaningful'

Manuela Garay from Canada was part of the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme in 2017 and reflects on the impact her participation has had on her and her perspective on life and other people ever sin...

We love from Packages

We Love From: Making a difference in someone else's life

'I wouldn’t have imagined that with a piece of paper, a pencil and a little bit of your time and effort, you can really make a difference in someone else’s life!' - Georgina Flores and Lorena Mier y T...

All I could think was ‘Am I safe?’

'I wish the world had more safe spaces for women and for men, to work together to build safe communities', says Temantungwa Ndlangamandla in her article about gender and safety and explains how her cu...

Men, Paula Mariane 2019.jpg

A conversation between men around gender and safety

How can we all contribute to building a sense of safety for everyone within our communities? The CPLP Talks team convened a dialogue space where they asked men for their perspective on the topic of ge...


Getting comfortable under my skin

'I now look at myself in the mirror differently. I am slowly getting comfortable under my skin.' - Tinotenda Dean Nyota from Gweru, Zimbabwe, took part in the CPLP in 2018. He is an Economics graduat...

CL Maria Romero Project Colombia hut

Find your own style of leadership to change the world

'I realized that I could make a difference in the world.’- Find out how Maria set up a library in a remote community in Colombia to fight illiteracy and help children write stories which transmit thei...

Abeda Nasrat CPLP

‘Afghanistan gave me roots, Denmark gave me wings’

Abeda Nasrat came to Denmark as a refugee from Afghanistan at the age of two. She now studies Law at the University of Copenhagen and works as a student assistant at the Danish Institute for Human Ri...

Sebastian Hasse CPLP

Culture, origins and freedom

"Time and again, encounters with people who have different cultural roots from me have challenged and often overwhelmed me. But it is these encounters that have allowed me to keep growing, both in my ...

Harshani Bathwadana Sri Lanka

The courage to offer hope

Harshani Bathwadana from Sri Lanka describes how she found the hope to bring hope through education to thousands of girls. ...

Redempta CPLP Talks 1

Freeing girls to study

"One act of compassion continues to have a great impact on my life." - Redempta Muibu from Nakuru, Kenya, describes how taking part in the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme in 2015 inspired her to s...