Cross Cultural Travel and Culture Camps

Cross Cultural Travel often occurs with a specific intention. I traveled to Nepal, Kathmandu, and Sulawesi, Indonesia with a specific intention of journeying to a place to get to know another culture through their rituals and beliefs, songs and stories. Several places I journeyed to just to meet the makers of textiles, because the textiles tell a story of culture and beliefs through the patterns and designs that have been passed down from generation to generation.  An example of textiles revealing a stories about beliefs is reflected in the Batak culture of Indonesia. The Batak women create circular warps that are never cut. The circular warps represent the continuum of life, and the space in which the warp and the weft do not connect on a circular warp, are considered magical. This in between space is the liminal space between worlds. Sandra Niessen has spent 20 years researching Batak Textiles. Here is a link to more information about Sandra’s book, Sandra Niessen – Magic in Batak Textiles.

The exchange of information between two cultures increases both culture’s awareness of what the other celebrates, the practices of death and birth ceremonies, and what each culture values in the sense of community and life itself. I have often thought that it would be interesting to have adult camps or culture camps. Lewis Mehl Madrona, one of my favorite authors, healer, and visionary, talks about the value of “culture camps,” in an article about his journey through Australia. He says that by sharing cultural celebrations and practices, we create unity. Madrona also says that culture camps are common in Canada where people share their stories and heritage, but that it is a relatively new concept in other parts of the world.

Madrona knows a lot about cultural heritage and the power of stories. He grew up as a Cherokee Native American, graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine, and completed residencies in family medicine and psychiatry at the University of Vermont. He has written numerous books, my personal favorite being, Narrative Medicine. He also knows the power of story to heal. I enjoyed so much reading his cross cultural travel journal to Australia, and his work with culture camps. Lewis Madrona is one of those people who can convey stories in a rich and meaningful way. If you are passionate about cultural travel, and have a genuine desire to understand differences between cultures and people of the world so that you can know a true sense of unity, then read about Lewis Madrona’s cross cultural travel and culture camps in Australia here.

Narrative Medicine: The Use of History and Story in the Healing Process

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