What Indonesia Taught Me
What I have witnessed throughout my travels through Indonesia and other parts of Asia, as well as North Africa, and Central and South America, has brought me, nonetheless, to the firm conclusion, that: the Hospitality of Asians, Africans, and Latin Americans, as well as Pacific Islanders, by far surpasses most of what I’ve experienced in the West (Europe and US). If there’s at least one thing that Westerners can learn from these cultures is the ART OF HUMILITY.
The generosity, hospitality, serene, and grounded people of these cultures has contributed to a great extent what the West has come to know as the essence of humanity. The West has lost that touch and it is only in the East that any semblance of true Humanity is still intact. In a world, and time, when human interaction has reached its peak (what is also known as the age of Anthropocene) cultural understanding is of crucial importance.
We travel to learn, about ourselves and others, to discover the unknown (escaping from our hectic daily lives), to freely live (for however brief of time) and importantly to understand how others (the Orient) live and perceive reality unbeknownst to the Occident (the West). It is not for better or worse, just a different reality.
More importantly, when we travel, we need to keep in mind that we are VISITORS, it is of essence to respect the other cultures, the community, family traditions, the locals, the language (learn a phrase or two), traditions, ceremonies, policies, and way of life. Ask yourselves this; what is the point of traveling if you plan to stay in your hotel – unexplored, unaware, and totally oblivious of the marvels of all these ancient traditions and cultures!? Wouldn’t that be a shame to miss!?