Why Going Native?

What exactly is Going Native all about? It is a philosophy that I have come to know through my many travels. Mainly it means that I am abandoning any preconceived notions that I may have about my new country. That I am travelling with an open-mind. That I am ready to accept what may come. That I aim to live as the locals do. That I will eat the local food and reject the Westernized Fast-Food establishments that seem to be spreading like a tumour across the world… That I will learn the language, culture and customs of the new country. (As much as I can.) I have a very big interest in folk practices of cultures different from my own, so one of my goals will be to explore that aspect of Chinese culture.

I’m not heading out to the Far East wearing rose-colored glasses, I recognize that there are always two sides to everything – good & bad, yin & yang. I choose to see both. I want to observe China and the Chinese as they are, as they deal with the new world they are now in.

Today at I Deal coffeeshop, a Canadian guy who lived in Turkey was talking about how the North American media is really creating a wall between North America and the rest of the world, dealing in stereotypes & fear. That in reality, the people of the world are really not scary terrorists, just people living and getting by like everyone else. It is so true. My aim in going native is to get to know the world out there beyond North America’s borders, with no agenda. No politics, no religion, no dogma, just genuine interest.

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