…because some thoughts are worth remembering
Meeting people from different countries enriches you in a way you haven’t expected.
Because I’m fixated on food, my first introduction to their culture usually literally involves breaking of bread. It’s a great way to get to know the person and their culture, as we all got to eat. But the deep aesthetics and values can be learned from their philosophers and poets. I see why I started to see more guide books printing excerpts of poems and other writings from their national literary giants, because reading their writing can get to WHY and HOW they decided to build the monument in the first place (like the one below I found in a Portugal guide book).
“Was it worthwhile? Everything is worthwhile, if the soul is not small.” ~from Mensagem by Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese Poet
I have yet to set foot in any Arabic countries, but I have been fortunate enough to make Arabic friends while living in Denmark. I hope the Danes and the Danish government will see them not as Muslim immigrants or refugees and beyond their hijabs, but as peoples that come from great traditions of the arts.
Those who don’t like climbing the mountains will live forever in holes.
~Excerpt from Aboul-Qacem Echebbi’s poem “The Will to Live”
…and I am waiting for guidebooks to start including recipes of representative dishes eaten in those countries, because we all gotta eat and that’s a connection we can make with our guts.
Photo: A gazebo on Koele Lodge premises, Lanai, Hawaii