Andrew Moodie’s Story of Belonging - Otherness

Author

Moodie, Andrew

Genre

Speech

Overview

Canadian actor and playwright, Andrew Moodie discusses the complex feelings of belonging, difference, and otherness he experiences as a child of Jamaican immigrants in Canada. Moodie relates how he was fervently proud to be Canadian while growing up and embraced Canadian culture; he then describes a moment when he suddenly came to identify himself as Jamaican. While Canada takes pride in being a multicultural society that preserves and values cultural differences, Moodie argues that it is a struggle for human beings to view ‘the other’ merely as different rather than as an enemy or as a threat. The video allows us to explore themes of identity and community, difference and diversity, and exclusion and belonging. Moodie challenges us to reflect on how a community can embrace all cultural differences within it, while at the same time maintaining a concept of its identity, and how people of mixed heritage can embrace the cultural differences within themselves.

Full Text*

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Source

2009 TVO series of documentaries, dramas and current affairs programs, "Belong or Bust: Where Do I Fit In?"

Type

Video

Themes

Diversity and DifferenceExclusion and BelongingHeritage and TraditionIdentity and Community

Big Questions

How do we recognize sameness but acknowledge difference(s)?Is difference a problem, an opportunity, a challenge or a gift?What does it mean to be a stranger or an outsider? What does it feel like?Can our heritage and our traditions be a source of division?How do we remain loyal to our heritage and traditions?How has my family or background shaped who I am?

Audio

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chsphTwm8e0

Sample Discussion Questions

  1. How does Moodie's younger self show his pride in being Canadian?
  2. At what point and why does Moodie come to identify himself as Jamaican? Why do you think he did not strongly identify himself as Jamaican before this?
  3. How does Canada struggle to embrace difference and otherness according to Moodie?
  4. Have you every experienced a moment when your society treated someone with a different cultural background as an enemy or a threat?
  5. What would make it possible for society to embrace the particular differences of all immigrants' cultures?
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