Christiana Cates | staff columnist
Sept. 30, 2021
Travel YouTubers have been a beacon of light for cultural exploration around the globe, but it was one travel video from Hong Kong, and a sentence that impacted me as an American.
“C’mon, Americans are not the only people that speak English in this world, think bigger. This world is not America and the rest of the world, we have the other countries, remember?” said YouTuber, MeloCat, in her “Cart Noodles Hong Kong” video.
MeloCat is a Hong Kong based YouTuber who grew up in Canada and is bilingual in Chinese and English. Her channel predominantly features travel and lifestyle videos.
The words she spoke struck a chord and spoke truth to something I have thought most of my life: multiculturalism and exploration are key in terms of global unity.
Generally, when Americans are asked about other countries, languages and asked to pronounce foreign names, we often do not know the answer. But when other people from other countries are asked the same questions, it seems they have more knowledge on a global scale.
One way to solve this problem — to encourage thinking from a global perspective — is to alter the curriculum in our schools, starting to learn a language in our primary schools rather than secondary.
Furthermore, incorporating core history courses: a curriculum track about other countries or continents, as well as American history still being a choice.
On our college campuses and during our high school years, encouraging exchange programs or having more study abroad awareness could also prove to be influential on our understanding of other cultures.
Having these as a part of our school years can integrate global ideas more naturally, and normalize our awareness of the surrounding world.
A newspaper publication based in Hong Kong, known as the South China Morning Post, stated that “with a daily routine of dual-language immersion [at school], the young learners recognize the ‘second language’ as a way of life instead of a subject.”
The article written by the SCMP also stated that people who are multilingual display an intellectual advantage in many areas: problem-solving, decision making, logic and memory.
Socially, we can provide more comfortable environments for multilingual exchange students.
Furthermore, thinking outside of the box and thinking of the world can be useful when learning a new language or about a new culture. It can help with studying abroad, or even a move abroad where communication and reading terminology is essential to your time spent there.
Seeing and recognizing the benefits of multiculturalism can prove to be an asset to yourself and the people who surround you. The world is more than just America, after all.