Mother tongue

What does it meeean? … is one of those sentences I’ve learnt in many languages. Hi, How are you? Thank you, Goodnight, how much is it? WHat does nhbdvffmni mean…? What does “it” meeeean???
We need to find the connection in our brains right?
“I need you to explain me, with other words, body language or in other ways the term you are using for a thing that I know I must know in my own language” … or… what is the thing you just said? it sounded funny… what does it meeean???
It is not enough to enjoy an event but we need to know what it means… What is the intention? How does it connect with my past? with my story? with my experiences? because that is the only way I will make sense of it and I will have a full picture. or will I…?

hmmm…

The complexity and strength of our cultural identities is clear (Or very blurry depending on the lens with which you look at it of course) Our languages are tools we created to explain the meaning we give to things. With my english I can explain you what this post mean, but the english is just a tool. What is important is what I mean right?
Our cultures overflow with colorful details and rich stories, legends, expressions, behaviors, routines and habits.
Every cultural group you belong to will bathe you with their ink and will make you look differentmore importantly, it will make you see differently.

Today, I am a woman, a secular jewish/evangelical christhian, chilean, artist, teacher who is interning at an israeli institute for environmental studies that right now hosts students from Palestine, Jordan, Israel, Germany, Russia and Chile (hola) to discuss and strengthen the belief that nature knows no political borders. Nature might not but we sadly do, even though we are part of nature… (more to think here..)

What am I doing here?… WHat do I have in common with anyone if none of my identities defines me strongly enough to feel that I belong to something here? WHat language can I use if I don’t even use my mother tongue as a native tongue in my daily life anymore, and my brain spits out random words in german, turkish, arab, hebrew, russich and spanish when doing small talk?…
Well… I have music. I have movement. I have art. I have science. I have…love.
These languages transcend. THey have always trascend. And it sounds so easy (and cheesy :P) to say that it is hard to believe.

Those languages are my mother tongue.

Today, in holocaust memorial day, when the morning was cut into two by an alarm that forced everyone in Israel to stand still in recognition of the crimes done against jews (and poles, slavs, homosexuals, romanians, enemies of state, dissabled people, sick people and other prisoners) …
…when my body feels so weird (as usual in these past days) my belly wants to vomit out of disgust, frustration and sadness but the knot in my through is too tight to loosen up in a right time or place.
…when my dry eyes are thirsty for finding a common humanity…

I will keep exploring in practice the dimensions of global citizenship, of peace, of love …of respect..of empathy…of responsibility…of meaning….

**question break:(does it mean the same for us all? Do we long for this values with the same awareness?… (are those bomb-sounds I hear, tanks that are still training at 2am?!)…. Could art really contribute to break down the obstacles that occlude self actualization in vulnerable populations?… )

Today I will keep valuing the fact that I am a woman, a chilean, latinamerican, jewish, christian, teacher, artist, human in different amounts at different times.
Always being aware that most of this identities have come by accident. And for the sake of all and for the sake of my story, I will make them mean something.
These are my tools.
Let’s create something.

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About Global citizenship and experience

The first time I heard the word “Global citizenship” clearly was on 2010 when a couple of friends from the MeltonFoundation and I, did a project on education, but It wasn’t until the end of 2011 when I was formally introduced to the concept. However, the explanations given always left me curious for exploring the meaning deeper so I found myself reading about the people who first said the word like Diogenes of Sinope, Socrates or Montesquieu and it became clearer that the task of understanding a simple compound word like GLOBAL-CITIZENSHIP, meant something much more profound, like simple things usually tend to signify.

The easiest definition of “citizen” says – a person that lives in a particular place. That’s it. That person probably also identifies with the place or is unconsciously influenced by it, affected, committed to it, etc. In GLOBAL citizenship we are talking that this place is defined by the word “global” which involves the entire world. Not Lunar citizens or Mars citizens but earthians. ūüôā

So with this simple definition in mind I began to talk about it more openly. The hypothesis was that if we are talking about a concept that involves the globe and all its inhabitants, every person must innately have an understanding of it.
I specially remember conversations with my grandmother where we brainstormed in which aspects of life we could be global citizens. This exercise was eye opening because even though she could never move herself freely due to a hip problem she had since she was a child, we still noticed that she was a model citizen. She was COMMITTED and INFLUENCED by the place she lived in in such magnitude, that this motivated her (due to fear or conviction) to respect the rules of the country she was in, care for her neighbors and educate new generations of committed citizens… I mean, what more can you ask for…right?…

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Well right here is where the word GLOBALcitizenship , brought a new dimension to our conversation because we realize that the attachment that its required for us to be active in (committed, affected by) our families (communities, countries, etc) should also be shared with other humans that may not belong to our close circles. Not even belong to the place we live in.
So if my grandmother tells me that we should steal something from someone she hates, I should choose not to do it, even though she is my grandmother. Why? because I consider the whole situation, the repercussions and because I am not thinking that WE are the “good ones” or “right ones” just because “we are we”, but we have the understanding that other realities are happening at the same time, realities that feel very similar as we do.That consider stealing as an invasion of one’s privacy, as not a good thing.

It’s pretty safe to say that violence, abuse, genocide, rape, war, murders, attacks, etc are not things that are desirable in our human experience and that they somehow begin with the thought of others as “others”. As foreign, as different, when actually… WE ALL LIVE IN THE SAME PLACE. We are citizens of the same planet.

but…doesn’t this go against cultural diversity? Does global citizenship makes us homogeneous and ultimately bland?…

Hmm this can lead to a much longer post but when global citizenship makes us aware of our shared humanity (shared emotions, instincts, needs) it just…makes…sense. It has been a joy to see that “sense” clearly in the art workshops I’ve shared with children in Chile, in India, Germany, a sense that is common to kids all over. To recognize that we are playing a song in the same time signature but with different melodic lines and timbre. Culture has the potential to add richness to the tune if we decide to play together, we just need to listen.

Coming back to the earlier story, my grandmother and I remembered how she and my grandfather used to regularly visit mapuche communities to talk (support christian missionary efforts) and we (their grandchildren) would go with them some of those times. They may or may not have done this with assistentialist intentions (judging on the amount of cherries, potatoes and plums that we got home with, I always felt they were assisting us),but anyways, in these visits, the concept of global citizenship was floating around. It was being developed. My grandparents might have been driven by the thought that “the mapuche needed assistance” “they needed help or to be saved”, etc.but the repeated interactions with them provoked respect, admiration and…silence. Yes, silence. When your views are profoundly being confronted you tend to remain silent until you know for sure what to believe, what the conclusions of your research are and even then, it might not be required to actually talk. It tends to provoke actions. It tends to.
A global citizen has those characteristics. That curiosity that goes way beyond social norms or fashions but follows more organic and vital rules. I strongly believe that truth will follow the one that wants to find it, one that is not afraid or ashamed to make it come to life in its life.

For my grandmother (and me), to put a name to this new dimension of understanding citizenship brought a breath of fresh air and a smile. It made us acknowledge how beautiful it was to be there and it made me feel like we were in the exact place I needed to be, right there drinking mate at the sunset. That was all that was demanded from us as global citizens at that moment. It made me support once again some of the feelings I had when I was a little girl: the ability to awe at things, the new curiosity that everyday brought, the empathy for the girl that was crying, the need to feel safe, to play in nature and create my own games, to ask for forgiveness the same day that I did something wrong, to be lost in joy. It made me be attentive of those feelings because they may still contain a truth I haven’t been able to decipher fully. The kind of truth that’s THE missing element in our modern reality.

My “hands-on/mind-on” approach to learning keeps being a source of daily motivation for discovering how the global -citizenship of a person is shaped in the raw.
The intention of sharing is the first step to new discoveries, we just need to keep finding good tools to sculpt our understanding of the concept; adding more varnish to it or cleaning the dust of unnecessary elements, because, let’s face it, as part of this ever changing globe we would be naive to think we will ever get an exact definition that encapsulates, solely with words, what our citizenship in planet Earth truly means.

Candied grapefruit/ Pomelos verdes confitados

The first time I bought a bag of candied green grapefruit was in the Tostaduria Montt in Temuco. The second time was today in an Arab neighborhood in Haifa, Israel.
The first time we ate it sitting on a creek in Puerto Dominguez, Chile with Britanny and Paty when we visited one of the Mapuche community in Romopulli Huapi to learn their stories and portrait them through our art. The second time, I ate it alone in a shared van that was full of Russians, while I was on the highway from Haifa to Tel Aviv to attend the inauguration of the exhibition of the Israeli artist apprentice of who i am.
The first time I offered myself, in ignorant sacrifice, to try to understand the colors and hues of a conflict physically close to me, but that was not mine. This second time I am faced with a conflict of which I have more knowledge and a different kind of attachment, but even so, it is a curious thing to see that to assume one’s own ignorance is maintained as an important value to cultivate accurate impressions and fair opinions. It allows me to to kill and resurrect my conclusions continuously and analyze with greater clarity what remains, what is that transcends. What is true.
I am delighted to know that my sense of smell is that much superior than my other senses, that it allows these candied green grapefruit to take me the exact moment where I tasted them for the first time, and it makes it so much easier to overlay the impressions of that time in this superficially different but so deeply similar second time.

421098_109981545793719_1553896032_nLa primera vez que compre una bolsita de pomelos verdes confitados fue en la Tostaduria Montt en Temuco. La segunda vez fue hoy en un barrio √°rabe en Haifa, Israel.
La primera vez los comimos en el muelle de Puerto Dominguez con Britanny y Paty cuando visitamos una de las comunidad mapuches en Romopulli Huapi para conocer sus historias y retratarlas a través de nuestro arte. La segunda vez los comí sola en una van compartida que estaba llena de rusos, mientras iba en el camino de Haifa a Tel aviv a asistir a la Inauguración de la exhibición del artista israeli de quien soy aprendiz.
La primera vez me ofreci en ignorante sacrificio, para intentar comprender los colores y matices de un conflicto fisicamente cercano a mi pero que no sentia mio. Esta segunda vez me enfrento a un conflicto del cual tengo mas conocimiento y una clase distinta de apego, pero aun asi, es curioso ver como asumir la propia ignorancia se mantiene como un valor importante para cultivar impresiones certeras y juicios justos. Me permite matar y resucitar continuamente mis conclusiones y analizar con mayor claridad que es lo que permanece, que es lo que trasciende. Que es lo verdadero.
Me encanta saber que mi sentido del olfato es tan superior a mis otros sentidos, que hace que estos pomelos verdes confitados me trasladen al momento exacto donde los probé por primera vez , y hace que se me haga tanto mas fácil superponer las impresiones de esa vez en esta superficialmente diferente pero tan profundamente similar segunda vez.

The music language

Today after lunch I heard someone playing the piano in the public hall so I went in to see who it was because it sounded like a musician.
It turns out that it was a young man I had never seen before. I stayed listening in the next room without him knowing, so that I could understand his style…
And it was really different… a little bit hectic for my taste but with some familiar chord progressions and a good sense of rhythm… that’s enough for me! After he finished improvising I went in with a smile and said:”thank you, that was really nice!” He smiled back like saying (I don’t speak much english but I know what you are saying)
He asked (with body language) “Do you want to play the piano?”, I replied “no” (with my head)… “I sing”, I said (opening my mouth making a weave with my hand). “What do you sing?” he asked (both hands facing up both eyebrows meeting in the center and going up) I said the words “Jazz, Blues, Bossanova….” (because I heard some hints of it while he was playing before) he said “ahhh” (with a smile that showed his teeth) He began playing some chords but it turns out that we didn’t know the same tunes…he didn’t regularly played jazz in Tel aviv and I only know a few Charlie Parker tunes so we decided to improvise a bossanova.
The song began hectically, as his style was, and I followed because the song that we could potentially create was far more interesting for me than the idea of preference I could have on “my style”.
Still I know the structure that we must follow and when a musician is comfortable in at least the basic little complex beautiful rules of this game one can enjoy an incredible trip full of colours and flavours and flowers (at least that was for me) that can energize your spirit.
After 15 minutes (it could have been more or less I lost track of time) we finished the tune, we smiled, bowed, said thank you and bye.
This all makes me think of what a glorious gift is to study Sound, Time and Silence, I mean…everyone uses it every single day (talking or hearing) but not everyone studies it to the point that we can use it as an artistic, expressive, communicative, confidence building tool. It should be a requirement in our lives since early education, to allow ourselves to experience the music that is inside of us, learning the nomenclature that others have created of the sound we emit, in order for us to play and be able to make our own. And more than that, to be able to create beautiful, meaningful moments with others, even if it is people you have just met.
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Hoy despu√©s del almuerzo o√≠ a alguien tocando el piano en el sal√≥n p√ļblico del KIbbutz as√≠ que fui a ver quien era porque sonaba como un m√ļsico.
Resulta que era un hombre joven que nunca hab√≠a visto. Me qued√© escuchando en la habitaci√≥n de al lado sin que √©l supiera, para poder entender su estilo…
Y era realmente diferente… un poco agitado para mi gusto pero con algunos progresiones familiares de acordes y un buen sentido del ritmo… eso es suficiente para m√≠! Despu√©s de que termin√≥ de improvisar, entre a la sala con una sonrisa y dije: “Gracias, que lindo!” El sonri√≥ como diciendo no hablo mucho ingl√©s pero s√© lo que est√°s diciendo.
El pregunt√≥ (Con lenguaje corporal) “quieres tocar el piano?”, yo le respondi “no” (con la cabeza)… “Yo canto”- le dije (abriendo mi boca haciendo una ola con la mano). “Que cantas?” pregunt√≥ (ambas manos hacia arriba ambas cejas encontrandose en el centro y yendo para arriba) dije las palabras “Jazz, Blues, Bossanova…” (porque escuch√© algunos indicios de eso mientras lo escuchaba tocar antes) El dijo “ahhh” (con una sonrisa que mostraba sus dientes)
Empez√≥ a tocar algunos acordes, pero resulta que no sab√≠amos las mismas melod√≠as… El no tocaba jazz regularmente en Tel-Aviv y yo s√≥lo s√© algunas canciones de Charlie Parker asi que decidimos improvisar un bossanova.
La canci√≥n comenz√≥ de pronto un poco apresurada, como era su estilo, pero lo segu√≠ porque la canci√≥n que pod√≠amos potencialmente crear era mucho m√°s interesante que cualquier idea de preferencia que yo podr√≠a tener acerca de “mi estilo”.
Aun asi, yo s√© la estructura que debemos seguir y cuando un m√ļsico esta c√≥modo en al menos las reglas b√°sicas de este peque√Īo hermoso y complejo juego uno pueden disfrutar de un incre√≠ble viaje lleno de colores y sabores y flores (al menos eso fue para m√≠) que puede energizar tu esp√≠ritu.
Después de 15 minutos (podría haber sido más o menos porque perdí la noción del tiempo) terminamos la melodía, sonreimos, nos dimos una reverencia con la cabeza dijimos gracias y adiós.
Esto me hace pensar en que glorioso regalo es el poder estudiar el sonido, el tiempo y el silencio… Casi todo el mundo los utiliza cada d√≠a (hablando o escuchando) pero no todos los estudian hasta el punto en que pueden usarlo como una herramienta de construcci√≥n art√≠stica, expresiva, comunicativa, que forma confianza en si mismos. Deber√≠a ser un requisito en nuestras vidas desde la educaci√≥n inicial, para permitirnos experimentar la m√ļsica que est√° dentro de nosotros, aprender la nomenclatura que otros han creado del sonido que emitimos, en orden para nosotros jugar y ser capaces de hacer nuestro propio sonido. Y m√°s que eso, para poder crear momentos hermosos y significativos con los dem√°s, incluso si es s√≥lo con gente que acabas de conocer.