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Welcome to a Third Culture World

The new president represents more change than you may realize.

by Dave Gibbons

It's just the beginning. With the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president we are seeing what many consider a dream fulfilled. Of course there are still conflicts, and there still is racism, prejudice, and stereotyping - including in the church. But it is a new day when the most powerful political person on the earth is black. This is a historic moment for the world to celebrate, but before we simply see this as a race issue, or even just a political party's victory, we need to see it through the lens of culture - or rather cultures.

"Third culture" is used to describe the fusion of multiple cultures, the art of adaptation and dialogue rather than dictation. It's about diplomacy over strong arm tactics, and the embrace of discomfort as part of the journey toward real community. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, to a White mother from Kansas with has Irish and English roots, and a father, from Kenya. He studied in Indonesia, Hawaii, California, New York, and Boston. ...

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