The best of both cultures

CPLP Talks 4

25/02/2021
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

 

 

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