1&2 & Introduce you

I love Intercultural Communication studies…My mother is Fijian/Russian and my father is German/Irish who have both lived all over the world. We moved to Utah from New York, and were converts to the predominate religion, and both of my parents were both established in their careers (when we came, most mothers were stay-at-home).

These characteristics, plus many other aspects, made my cultural experience in Utah very different than many of my friends who hailed from generations of family from Utah, but really didn’t understand the complexities of all those components until I got older.

As I read through Chapters 1 and 2, I had a lot of experiences that I was able to draw from that connected with. From Chapter 2, the section about “cultural mores” or the components of a cultures norms, customs, and values and the “external” and “internal components” are things that I am dealing with first hand as I strive to connect more with my polynesian side.

Just recently, the Fijian community has grown here in Utah, and I only know Fijians that have come here that were born and raised in Fiji. They all know my mother, and my mother silently maintained the internal components within the Fijian community, overseas, but we ( her children) never knew, and she never extended that to us. She felt that there was no reason for us to need to know, and raised us very british/american (she grew up in a British colony).

This became complex as I am now striving to connect with the growing Fijian communities, as I recognize that there are a lot of cultural dynamics that I am completely unaware of, and in some cases unintentionally missing the mark!

I have been very blessed to have a father, who although is “white”, LOVES and embraces cultures different than his own and both of my parents were very inclusive of everyone. Growing up, we had visitors from all over the world, from every religious and cultural background. It was a wonderful
way to grow up, and I was unaware that not everyone was that way. It was not until I was much older and out of the house and had some disheartening experiences, that I realized that there are people who made generalizations about people different than themselves. There is a few people that I am friends with that “accept” me, but have a really backwards view about people of different colors, religions, and even people in states outside of Utah. It was this group of people, that really opened my eyes to how important education, and experiencing others lives outside our small realities, is of great significance. I am truly grateful for diversity, as it has in every way, enhanced my life.

My name is Aiona Butters. I am ball of complex diversity. I am a wife and a mom of 2 amazing little guys, and I am so excited to serve with them and joyfully teach them about the beauty of diversity. I love learning, and being a non-conventional student, even though I drop a couple of the million of plates I constantly try to juggle daily.

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