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Home » Juliana Mosley on Cultural Humility (Full Transcript)

Juliana Mosley on Cultural Humility (Full Transcript)

Here is the full text and summary of educator Juliana Mosley’s talk titled “Cultural Humility” at TEDxWestChester conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:


Juliana Mosley – Chief Diversity Officer at Chestnut Hill College

Namaste. Perhaps, you’re wondering why I’ve just greeted you with a bow, a curtsy and a Namaste welcome.

As many are aware, in other countries, cultures and social engagements, these gestures would be accepted and even expected when meeting someone or ending an encounter. The bow, used in East Asian countries such as China, Japan and Thailand is often commonly used at the beginning and ending of a martial arts competition.

The curtsy would be the appropriate gesture if a lady had the opportunity to meet the Queen of England, and also for dancers to say thank you to an audience at the end of their performance.

The Namaste welcome is used in the Hindu culture and religion and also at the end of a common yoga class, and it literally translates to the divine in me bows to the divine in you.

These gestures highlight the concept of humility, literally being able to bow to the culture, persona and the position of someone else. Yet for many of us, Americans that is, we would struggle with the concept of humbling ourselves. We would not go as far as to say ‘I’m superior’ but we definitely don’t believe that we’re less than.

So, it begs the question that if I humble myself, am I by default saying that I’m less than or giving power to someone else? Allow me to offer you a counter perspective this evening.

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