Many Stories Matter

Dinara Shadyarova, Kazakhstan

“Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity” – Chimamanda Adichie.

These words of Chimamanda Adichie from her TED Talk made me look at my U.S. experience from a different perspective, since it could structure all of the thoughts I obtained there. America has a well-developed broadcasting system worldwide, which creates a sense of familiarity with this country and spreads stories of this nation. I used to think I knew lots of things about the U.S.; however, the things I knew never allowed me to feel this nation and culture, because I couldn’t see myself in this world – we seemed so different and distant. Fortunately, when I came to the U.S., I realized that there are many more stories that were hidden from my sight, stories that can reveal the rich depth of the nation. I experienced education here, feeling myself a part of it. I experienced being a friend of Americans, feeling that we have more similarities rather than differences. I experienced well-known “American freedom”, feeling the growth of my own identity. The more stories I revealed, the more things I could identify myself with; the more things I could identify myself with, the more love and empathy I felt toward this nation, and the closer I felt toward them. This enlightenment showed me the importance of learning more stories about my own culture and other cultures worldwide, since it enriches our own identities and understanding. With this understanding we can feel a sense of belonging to any nation and we can create one mutual story. We can become true global citizens.



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