This is a post that has been long overdue… identity in the Jordan.
Before studying abroad, I knew that there would be major changes in my lifestyle and adjustments I would have to make for the culture, but what I did not realize was how much mu identity meant and how my personal identification may be significantly different than how others would identify me. And sadly, this is even a problem I have in the US.
This week I got to understand the Jordanian culture from multiple perspective.
Here are the events I attended this week:
- British Council in Amman talk on Petra
The timing of this talk could not have been better. As the Monday right after my time in Petra, it was fascinating to learn more about how Petra plays into Jordan’s cultural fabric and what Jordanians think about the landmark. The talk to be honest was not what I expected on bit. It focused on identity in terms of tourism, but also as a whole with the influence of colonialism and the Royal family. There was also a slight touch on the deliberate creation of the other by Jordanians and Bedouin people towards refugees, but there seemed to have been a bit of a disconnect and lack of expansion. Because of the Hashemite Family’s significance in the region and ties to Jordanian tribal history, I wish I knew more about individual tribes and their cultures. I feel as though the term Bedouin is tossed around so often and to describe sweeping generalization.
- The Royal Car Museum
On Wednesday, my program visited the Royal Car Museum in Jordan which narrates Jordan’s history into Modernity through cars and follows the Royal Family’s life I think that Jordanian’s relationship with the Royal family is so intriguing. The emotional connection and aspect of identity hat is so strongly tied with the Royal Family is something I admirer, but also will never fully understand. I wish I knew King Hussein (May he rest in peace) and could experience his kindness in person.
- Trip to the Jordan Park Zoo with Be Positive+
Be Positive+ is an organization started by a PSUT student I met and her friend four years ago to help be a positive person and help others. They work with a local orphanage and set up fun events where volunteers get to play with the children. This trip was extra special for the children because it was the first trip to the zoo. I was extremely nervous and unsure how the even would turnout, but I ended up having a lovely time. It was very frustrating at times just because I did not have the spoken Arabic skills to properly communicate with the children. Overall he experience taught me a lot about my privilege and identity as an America. When interacting with the kids, for those hours they were not orphans, but could escape and just be kids.