Modest Proposal 3 - child cultural exchange

@dawnald (84075)
Shingle Springs, California
October 14, 2009 12:34pm CST
Putting my flak jacket and helmet on. Well it's slow on the lot today, so I thought I'd post a controversial one. The subject is world peace (as opposed to whirled peas) and cultural differences. I like to think that if we all understood each other better, had an idea what each others beliefs and problems were, that the world would be a much more peaceful place. Do you think we would have a better chance at having something approaching world peace if we exchanged children with other cultures? Or perhaps a college student exchange? Some kind of a cultural exchange where people went to live in other countries to learn about them. Lots of people. Pros? Cons? Would you do it? Would you send your children? Would you go with them?
5 people like this
16 responses
@leahsmom (338)
• United States
14 Oct 09
I would try it but only for a short period of time like maybe a week.I think it would be a wonderful thing. I personal would send my child after some research of the culture. I also would like the families that to be well researched.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
14 Oct 09
I would send them if they wanted to go and if I thought they were mature enough to handle it. But what if this were a mandatory thing? And what if it pertained to much younger children?
@spalladino (17922)
• United States
14 Oct 09
Wow, Dawn, you are in an evil mood today! It could never be mandatory because no one would vote for a bill like that...not if they wanted to be able to walk freely around their home towns ever again. You couldn't send younger children because they wouldn't have the maturity to be separated from their families for any length of time and they would be too young to know the language of the host country.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
14 Oct 09
What if it were a dictatorship and what if the exchange were mandatory? Yeah, I'm in evil mode today. Not close enough to Friday. lol
@rusty2rusty (6760)
• Defiance, Ohio
14 Oct 09
I do believe we do exchange children with other cultures. High school students live in other countries and study in that other country. I remember it well in my highschool. You also see many people adopting older children from other countries. Also we get alot of foriegn exchange students in the USA colleges. Heck, I know of a family of four kids going to college on tax payers bill right now in Florida....no they do not have legel staus. But we are paying for them to go to school here. Ages range from 17 to 35...all siblings.
1 person likes this
• Defiance, Ohio
14 Oct 09
I just wanted to add...I would not send my child to another country. Only because I know how mean and cruel this world is. Now if they choose to go when they are eighteen. I would give thm my best wishes and smile.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
14 Oct 09
True we do. I was thinking of younger children really. That will teach me to post a discussion before I"m fully awake... PS I don't think fully awake is going to happen today!
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
14 Oct 09
Why, do you smell a rat? :-)
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
15 Oct 09
Hi dawn, there's nothing at all controversial in this, of course its a good idea, especially if some language lessons are included. I would think that any child who has had the sort of education which encourages knowledgeof different cultures and countries would jump at the chance to go. Would I go with him? No. It's a good opportunity for him to be independant and have something exciting to share on his return.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Oct 09
That applies more to older children though.
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
15 Oct 09
Well I'd be behind mine going and he's ten.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Oct 09
I'd be OK sending them some places if they want to go, not some places though.
@ParaTed2k (22980)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
14 Oct 09
I've known people who were bigots until they got to know people in the group they thought they hated. I've also known people who weren't bigots UNTIL they got to know people in various minorities. People use evidence any way they want. Such an exchange program would help people who want to know more about how "the other half lives", but would only serve to re-enforce the hatred of those who want to hate.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
14 Oct 09
That's why we have to send them while they're young. :-)
@ParaTed2k (22980)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
14 Oct 09
So they can establish bigotries young in life? lol
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
14 Oct 09
exactly, now you've got it... or should I say.... and that won't happen here? lol
@jillhill (37379)
• United States
14 Oct 09
Don't we do that already? A friend of mine's son is going to spend a quarter in Italy....Personally I think if government stayed out of it we would all get along better...case in point...mylot! We do have a few trolls but for the most part we get along....respect each others point of view....etc....no interference by government hogwash.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
14 Oct 09
There are exchange students, true. I was thinking something a little more sinister though. Younger children, more of them, no choice in the matter, permanent exchange. Can I make it any worse?
@jillhill (37379)
• United States
14 Oct 09
Hold on to your babies! Dawnald is at it again.....stirring up controversy! Well being a mother I would have to say I don't think I would like having my kids exchanged......even if I got a replacement....if they did go I would go with...I do think once we have knowledge of someone's circumstances or more their customs we do find an indepth understanding of behaviors and ways of thinking....especially when it comes to religious beliefs of other countries....
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
14 Oct 09
a replacement... That sounds so awful. As if you could ever really replace a child.
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
15 Oct 09
I am not sure I would like to send my child away and I would resent having to! Having said that, I can see your point. Educating our young people in other cultures would be a starting point toward peace but to send them to live in another country! They have exchange programs now that are not compulsory, I think educate the kids at school in regards to tolerance of other nations and let them decide for themselves if want to give living overseas a go. If my daughter wanted to go I would allow her to, whether I would go with her would depend on how old she was.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Oct 09
Educating them at school is a good start, but what if they're being fed a lot of bigoted crap at home?
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
16 Oct 09
That's a point! Perhaps it's some parents we need to re-educate! I doubt there is an easy solution to this huge problem in the world. It is such a shame that all of our children cannot learn from an early age to get along with everyone!
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17922)
• United States
14 Oct 09
We've had an active foreign exchange program for a long time...my former bosses daughter spent a year in Berlin when she was in high school and it was a very worthwhile experience for her. With the real time video technology that is now available I think another good idea would be to set up programs in schools where a class of students in one country could *meet* weekly with a class of their peers who live in another country. Something like this would go a long way in opening the eyes of larger number of children to the cultures of others around the world.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
14 Oct 09
Yes, it would. Evil Dawn was thinking of younger children though.
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
14 Oct 09
remind me to choose my words more carefully lol
• United States
17 Oct 09
If the child is well behaved and trusted this could be a cool idea, the problem is that such a thing exists and it exists today for our blinded elite. Like all things money begets money and this is a luxury program much like soda will become a luxury drink, putting carbonate in water and making it fizz will be the drink of the elite taxed to the extreme to prevent the poor from partaking of the sweet fizzy sugar water. What stopped prohibition? I see a cultural uprising as the poor people wake up and shift the power and money out of the hands of the elite... How much is that? You have to ask you can't afford it... There are many estate houses, (mansions) that are luxury items.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
19 Oct 09
If we had such a program and if it were not voluntary, I can see poor people's children being sent off, followed (or preceded) by a HUGE popular uprising!
@debrakcarey (19923)
• United States
15 Oct 09
Here's my plan if I'm elected Queen of the World... Everyone has to spend 12 hours a day on myLot...in the political and religious sections...now, you have to do this and keep a star rating of at least NINE! If you can do that....you will forever be a person of peace.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Oct 09
Maybe I'll just go and bake some brownies instead! to dream the impossible dream... Dawn walks off humming...
1 person likes this
@Bluepatch (2480)
• Trinidad And Tobago
15 Oct 09
Not with children. I'm sorry its just too risky. Cultural exchanges are good but with students ( older ones ) especially when the person can learn and absorb something of value. But children ? Much too risky in today's crazy world. Not with any of mine - that's for sure !
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Oct 09
Could be very risky...
• United States
15 Oct 09
I think it is a good idea for people to visit and experience other cultures, definitely. I and English but live in America (I am married to an American) and I found the lack of awareness of other cultures quite shocking. But then many people in my town (which is not a particularly well off area) may not have ever had the opportunity or money to travel, whereas I was lucky to be able to travel around Europe and move to America, so its easy for me to judge! I don't think it should be mandatory. And I don't think it would bring world peace, because my experience is that if people have a fixed idea about a certain place, talking to someone who lived there 30 years doesn't change it so I'm not sure going there would help much either...lol.. Having said that, I do think my husband lost some of his stereotypical ideas of my country when he visited. I suppose it depends on the person, and how willing we are to go and learn. I think the cost is an issue - when I was doing my degree in Drama I had the chance to spend a year of it in America, which I thought would be great, especially to see how they approach things like Shakespeare in another country etc, but sadly I had to come up with $2000 towards it and couldn't.
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Oct 09
Money has a lot to do with it sometimes, but I believe a lot of Americans are just not interested in other cultures.
@GardenGerty (115954)
• United States
15 Oct 09
That idea was used in ancient times by conquering nations to insure peace. The children of the rulers were given as hostage, and were raised in the ruling households.They were often also married off into the families. Today they have things like the Ulster Project where young people of both Catholic and Protestant families in Norther Ireland come together in the United States to learn about each other and about us.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Oct 09
Not just ancient times, medieval times too... I wonder how well it really worked though.
@sid556 (30989)
• United States
14 Oct 09
I would love to think that there could be world peace and I think there could be if people would just open up their minds and accept that we are all different in our ways and beliefs. It goes beyond just cultures and religions. We are all pretty diverse. I do think that learning more about other cultures and people would be a great help. In our schools systems, we do have "exchange students". It is a pretty good program. A student from here and a student from another country swap families for a while. It's pretty cool. World Peace would be wonderful wouldn't it?
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
14 Oct 09
We're pretty diverse and yet we're all the same too. Strange, isn't it? It would absolutely help things if we learned about other cultures from early on, preferably in a setting that's more than just a 30 minute classroom presentation by somebody who isn't from that culture!
@irishidid (8716)
• United States
14 Oct 09
Something like that was done with Irish children. They came to the states and the catholic kids stayed with protestant families and visa versa. I believe they even made a movie or documentary about it. I'd have sent my children to Europe, possibly Asia, but not the Middle East. Especially not my daughters. I'm sure there are places where they would be perfectly safe but I wouldn't trust they'd be sent to them. There are those who would kill their daughter for little more than showing a piece of skin. And, yes, I agree that there is no guarantee their children would be safe with the families they were sent to, but there's a great chance they would be safe.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
14 Oct 09
There are places I wouldn't send my children at any age, nope no way!
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
14 Oct 09
I don't think I would do an exchange lol. I like American culture and I like it here. I hate stereotypes but were I to go to another country, I can guarantee people there would have a stereotype of ME and that would affect how I was treated, probably. Do I have a problem with that, YES. Some cultural differences are really cool, but there are some that I just don't believe should exist no matter what - things that include inequality of women, having to wear clothing head to toe (or cover your head or face), places where 3,4, or even 5 generations of people live together in one place, etc. Yes, those are my personal opinions but they are very definitely culturally based. I think it would be neat if there was no entitlement issues and no language barriers, etc, but wishing for that is as much a long shot as world peace.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
14 Oct 09
I can tell you I wouldn't be sending my girls to Iran, just as an example, under the current regime. No way, no how. And if the exchange were mandatory, I'd go underground, get the h*ll out of the country, whatever it took if there were a risk that they'd be sent to such a place. Now Germany, where they can learn the joys of Jaegerschnitzel and Strudel, that's different. :-)
• United States
17 Oct 09
i don't think i'd send my kids. as much as i'm sure it might be a worthwhile learning experience for them,i'd be too much of a worrywort about it.i guess it would depend largely on where they wanted to be sent.
@dawnald (84075)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Oct 09
and how old they are...