The chance to go to Dubai this year for the Middle East Film and Comicon popped up and frankly I couldn’t turn it down. I have travelled across much of Canada and some parts of the US, exploring the Middle East is admittedly a fascinating adventure. I have always had a deep interest in foreign cultures as both my parents are immigrants to Canada and English is a second language to both as well. I was born in Canada but was always encouraged to learn about my German/Hungarian/Russian/French background and also interact with the varied cultures that have such presence in different parts of Vancouver.
The earliest international culture I remember encountering was through the 1986 Expo with the exhibition of the Pharaoh Tutankamun tomb relics. I was only a child but that stuck vividly in my mind for its beauty and striking elegance. I was fascinated with traditional design and history ever since.
My mum was the one to introduce me to Hungarian folk tales in both traditional art and the spoken language as she took the time each night to read to me. Fist she would read a page in Hungarian then read what she just read in english. Page by page, chapter by chapter, every day. I loved hearing the soothing sound of a different language and feeling connected to my mothers culture through such a simple thing. Since then I can usually identify Hungarian being spoken around me though understanding the language is a bit harder. She considered the language to be not worth learning so I never learned to read or speak it fluently.
It is interesting how ancient cultures are both prized and dismissed as archaic and yet modernity is only a blink in the cycle of society moving forward and reinventing itself using the tools of the past. When we forget our roots what tends to happen is a loss of identity and stagnation of creativity. Things become hollow when the meaning has been sucked out of it. It is a delicate balance between past and present but we should better maintain that for us not to self destruct without foresight.