Avoid these Mindsets, and make the most of your holiday!
Many people in the diaspora enjoy spending holidays back home with family members and friends. For many people, this is a time of laughter, fun, joy, bonding and happiness. Whether its your first time in your home nation, or your 100th time, going back home is often a wonderful experience! However, there are a few mindsets the diaspora must be very careful to avoid when visiting their home nation.
People in the diaspora must not look down upon the progress of the people or the standard of living of the people in the nation. People living in the diaspora, especially those living in the West, have enjoyed levels of comfort, freedom and ease that are unlike anywhere else in the world. This comfort that we have become so accustomed to can cause us to lose touch with the realities of what life is like for people at home. Intentionally or unintentionally, sometimes we can look down upon people and their lifestyle calling certain things backwards or Bush, which may alienate people and further creates a wedge between the diaspora and those at home. It also perpetuates the narrative of western superiority, which is very problematic.
Many people living in the diaspora, especially the West, have grown accustomed to living within a consumerist society. This is a society in which we worship big brands and large corporations for their familiarity and efficiency. Everyone likes Starbucks and McDonalds, but it is also essential to support local businesses where we can. The influx of money into our nations through tourism may not end up in the hands of our people, but instead, those of large, multinational corporations.
We are all aware of the challenges facing our loved ones, and we are aware of how different the system is back home vs where we live now. Although we may be aware of the needs in our community and how lack of development affects people, we must be careful not to fall into a Saviour Complex. This is a mindset in which we view ourselves as not a White Saviour, but a Western one, thinking that we have all of the answers to all of the questions, completely disregarding the experiences, skills, and expertise of people back home all in favour of our western experience. We can desire to meet the needs of the people that we see back home without being blinded by Saviourism that comes along with a level of superiority.
Going on holiday back home should be a time of fun, freedom, laughter and enjoyment however we must be careful not to allow these mindsets to taint our experience and drive a wedge between us in the diaspora and those who are and living back home. So, this holiday season, let’s check ourselves and be aware of these mindsets this summer.
Happy Holidays, from us at The Diaspora Project!