Tuesday, April 07, 2009
First of all, my ethnicity is not a 'cut & dry' one, I am a mix of many nationalities, but mainly I am, Czechoslovakian, German, Scottish and Lebanese. Of these, the only one for which I had any sort of cultural experiences in my lifetime is the Lebanese ethnicity. These experiences primarily involved food and family gatherings. My maternal grandfather was Lebanese, although born in the US, his parents came over from Beirut.
The presentation was pretty low-key, only having to be 10 minutes and in a pretty casual forum. I started by bringing a box of Baklava to share with the class. This baklava came straight from Dearborn, Michigan which is the most heavily populated Arab (& Lebanese) community in the United States. I used to live about 20 minutes from Dearborn. Awesome city. Awesome food.
I gave a little history about my family's migration, which took place in the early 1900s. Followed that with some basic stats on Lebanon. Did you know they have not conducted a Census there since 1932 for political reasons? According to the UN though, there is approximately 4.1 million people living there and Lebanon is 2/3 the size of Connecticut!!! Seems like that might be crowded but I don't know how many people live in CT and I'm too lazy to look it up right now. Also, which may be common sense for some, there are no exact figures on what religious groups Lebanese residents belong to because people remain fearful to disclose such information.
My last slide including some things to be aware of when counseling individuals of Lebanese (or middle eastern too) descent. Sadly, because of all the war and upheaval that has gone on in that country, people have an overall sense of fear and distrust of others. Learning to trust a therapist will not be easy. Lebanese typically do not seek out therapeutic help but instead turn to religious or community leaders for support. Lastly, due to their cultural component of having great respect for authority, they may expect the therapist to 'solve' their problems for them. Unfortunately, that's not what therapists do.
That's about it in a nutshell. I received positive feedback on the presentation from the instructor so that's a good thing. I turned in my paper to her and will get it back next week. It's much more in depth than the presentation, so I'm expecting a pretty good grade on that as well. Yay!
Only one more paper to do for this class...have to explain what I learned in the class....sounds easier than it is.