lundi 3 octobre 2011

Cross Cultural Sensitivity and my Kickapoo friends


I have been fortunate to have been friends with the Traditional Kickpoos with current homelands in Eagle Pass Texas and Nacimiento Mexico. They were originally in the Green Bay area of North America, when the Europeans arrived in this country but their independence and resilience drove them to Mexico and current cultural status. Unlike other North American Indian tribes, Kickapoos do not believe in integration any more than necessary and consider it their main aim to maintain their cultural identity. I have to say, after having known them for a few years, they are succeeding. I respect them for it.
I would have gone to La Habana this week or gone to Paris but my Kickapoo sister Mena informed me that she and a friend would be at the Seminole Indian Reservation for a meeting. I thought to myself, here is an opportunity for me to show the same kind of hospitality they show me when I visit them in Texas or Mexico.
I picked them up at Fort Lauderdale Airport and they were lodged at the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe near the Seminole Indian Reservation in Hollywood.
I told them that they are now in another "hispanic" area, and that Tacos are not de rigeur here and that i would like them to try various kinds of food. They reluctantly agreed. Indians are not adventurous when it comes to food but Mena has been trying.
I decided to take them to A Thai Restaurant along Stirling Road in Davie. They were not quite sure. I am glad i took them to this small restaurant and they looked at the menu. Their choice was Beef Spicy Fried Rice and Sweet and Sour Chicken. I made sure they tasted some satay.
I was quite relieved to know that they both liked their first ever Thai Meal! I enjoyed my Panang Curry with Chicken.
so I plan to take them to
Jewish Bakery, A Greek Restaurant, introduce them to Cafe Cubano and the cuisine of the island I love, perhaps even a tandoori.. I told them for the next three days , I will be driving you around to various places and we can taste different sorts of food. and the Last day you are here I will leave you alone and will not enquire what you have had to eat...
This is a cross cultural lesson in sensitivity for me as well. They are traditional but have adjusted to american life in their own terms not terms dictated by the American culture. They have no problems being Kickapoo, that is what they want to be, they dont want to be anything else, least of all Native American! they are not hyphenated Americans