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My family was invited to our former neighbors’ Quinceanera.

It was really interesting, and beautiful. Soy comprende un poco Espanol, so I had some idea how utterly out of my depth I was! I’m pretty sure I caught the gist of the live songs - though not the faster, pre-recorded ones - and was really grateful to be able to catch cues from the people around me.

I think it’s important for those of us in majority positions - for instance, hearing or English-speaking - to deliberately place ourselves in situations where we don’t just automatically know what’s going on. There are so many rich cultures around us, and so often we don’t even notice them, or don’t engage because it’s uncomfortable. But I think it makes us more compassionate to occasionally feel out-of-place or unable to keep up. Those are normal, everyday situations for people coming into my culture, and it’s fair for me to experience them by stepping into other cultures.

I have been very fortunate that if I’m trying, no matter how badly I mangle each attempt, I’ve been accepted and helped when I’m in unfamiliar territory. I strive to offer the same acceptance and help to everyone who is trying to learn about my world. It’s a lot of fun, and I meet a lot of good people.

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