Tuesday, April 07, 2009

~ethnicity presentation~

I've had a couple requests/comments about how my presentation went last night. So I thought I'd tell you a little bit more about it.

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.


Hit 40 said...

Wow! Great work getting your paper done. I love your treats!! I would give you an A - just for the free food. Must go have a snack now!! I have the funniest post today - IT WILL MAKE YOU GIGGLE!!

Hit 40 said...

Oops you did see it :-) LOL!!! Thanks. Love the family photo in pirate outfits!! We dress as aliens for the holidays!! Nerds - we are.

KekeLynn said...

Sounds like it went well! I looovvveee baklava!

CrazyCris said...

I totally get the non- "cut and dry" ethnicity situation. In my family we've often railed against the typecasting so unfortunately frequent in the US. Why the insistence on putting labels on everything?!
When we lived Sateside my mom used to get so fed up whenever she had to fill out some type of form that required "race" to be included, and they wouldn't let her categorise herself as "latin". I mean... how much more latin can you get than Spanish?! Italian perhaps...
I too identify more with my "latin" roots because of my Mediterranean character -and temper- (which got a little help being developed by growing up in Mexico). But no way would anyone in the Sates allow me to call myself a Latina... pale skin with lots of freckles and red hair! Most people don't seem to realise that the Vikings plundered and pillaged their way through the Mediterranean as well as northern Europe! ;o)
Hmmm... perhaps we should request censers to allow the choice of a "mediterranean" ethnicity... it's increadible how similar are the cultures and customs of most of the people who've been raised around this Sea... they often have a lot more in common than they'd like to admit!

Chele76 said...

One of my favorite restaurants is a Lebanese place in Silver Springs MD.

And CT is not very crowded. Yes, there are some cities where people are crammed in, but there is a LOT of open spaces all over the place.