Culture and Identity are experienced at the very core of the individual self. Equally, however, culture, identity and self are experienced in communion with others, and it is arguably that it is as part of a group, as our collective selves, that our identity and culture is most meaningful and powerful.
In this issue of GOLDENROOM Online Journal of Cross Cultural Relations, we explore our collective self through the theme of Community. Identity however is never fixed, nor singular, nor static and this fluidity, multidimensionality and dynamism is what drives our publication. Consequently revealing our communal identity is in this instance best accomplished by revealing the communal culture in its states of flux.
To set us on that journey, Andre di Carlo returns with his own story of how he converted to Protestantism, having been raised a Catholic and what it is like living as an extreme, frequently derided religious minority in a Catholic society. In a broader manner, our article on Conversion for Community looks at the phenomenon of converting to another faith or sect, not so much for religious or spiritual reasons but for the attraction of belonging to a group and a community. Intriguing accounts about being born one culture but deciding to be another.
We also bring you two articles where communities have encountered each other and brought about positive action, whilst remaining their distinctive selves. In our first, we report on the Research Symposium sponsored by Christian Muslim Encounters in Lancashire and Global Village. Their next event is on 26th of June, 2014 featuring a lecture by Professor Morrow on the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammed with Christianity. Looking at this topic in a different way, we visited Taam, a kosher delicatessen and takeaway, featuring a heady menu of Middle Eastern and Asian delights, served by staff who are Jewish and Muslim. As we suggest, in so many ways, Taam, is surely a taste of heaven.
Not all communities coming together do so quite so deliberately, but in the different ways the summer solstice is marked around the world, there is nevertheless evidence for a basis of a common human experience and search for meaning; a diverse human community, but a community nonetheless. Enjoy reading about how peoples around the world, both in our past and today celebrate under the same sun. We also report on how one community in the United Kingdom maintains its culture whilst being thoroughly British, despite having been through some serious difficulties. This month in What Does My Neighbour Believe? we bring you the German Evangelical Church in the UK. As Scotland counts down to deciding its future, we republished Alisdair McKillip’s analysis on the largest immigrant community in Scotland- The Irish. Our Health article this month seeks to make our readers aware of Lupus, an autoimmune disorder with a distinct predilection for certain ethnic communities, but where ‘race’, geography and environmental factors mysteriously collide.
If you are looking for a summer read, then we are recommending the family chronicle of Lisa See, ‘On Gold Mountain. A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival’ whose great grandparent’s intriguing cross cultural marriage establishes a family tradition of Mixing and Melting. If you are looking to share the summer – and longer- with someone special then as always, GoldenRoom Dating is free to join at www.dating.goldenroom.co.uk. As the soundtrack for your burgeoning cross cultural relationship- whether that is friendship, romance or more- we are recommending ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ by Shahin and Sepehr whose work is dedicated to all those seeking unity and peace between East and West.
This issue encapsulates the combined experiences of a dynamic, often transcendent community of people of Mixed or Multi heritage, like author Lisa See and those on a Cross Cultural journey like Andrea di Carlo. Encounter and Engage with this fast growing, influential and exciting community of cross cultural people in this month’s edition of GOLDENROOM, until we return in August 2014.
Editor in Chief
Online Journal for Cross Cultural Relations