Meet Solonia: America-born-Ethiopian-Taiwanese, currently living in Singapore, with life chapters spanning the US and Asia. Solonia identifies as a citizen of the world - challenging conventional notions of identity and purpose, and evangelizing life + work by design. As co-founder of The Change School, Solonia designs and facilitates transformational learning for harnessing self-discovery, entrepreneurial grit, and creative intelligence. She is a writer, storyteller and mindset coach.
In this episode, we talked about being a cultural nomad – tips, its perks and downsides, embracing one’s cultural richness, and how to homogenize ones’ culturally-rich identity.
PS: Solonia and I compared Asian and African cultures and the concept of same-same but different.
Contact Solonia: email@example.com
Find out more about TheChangeSchool: http://thechangeschool.com/ and mention the show “The More Sibyl Podcast” to get discounts on their programs.
Fun facts about Solonia:
Solonia has been recognized as Asia's 50 Women Leaders for Leadership Excellence by CMO Asia, awarded for Global Training & Development Leadership by the World Training & Development Congress.
She was invited to speak at TEDxAuckland on the future of Global Citizenship.
African and Asian cultures share similar traits like shared core values, familial piety, the value of education, celebrating around food, and respect for elders.
Really embrace your cultural richness; don’t hide it! Your difference is what makes you unique.
Bring that (cultural) curiosity to your life and work.
Being African and Asian can mean being twice under that parental pressure to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or nothing else.
According to Solonia:
“Does anyone else think it questionable that we use the word "expat" to describe non-natives living/working in non-Western countries, whereas in the reverse instance we refer to "foreign workers" and "immigrants" or "migrants" only? When was the last time you heard Asian professionals or short-term residents in the US, Europe, or Australia, for example, being described as Expats? #justsayin
“The beauty of Singapore is so diverse and shows the difference between homogenization and melting pot. In America, there is a push to homogenize and adopt the American culture and become American. In Singapore, by contrast, there is no real need or pressure to become Singaporean. Everyone can coexist, and there is a feeling that everyone is able to retain their culture while existing in a diverse society.”
“My background and upbringing have really helped me to appreciate historical cultures and be able to connect with people from different backgrounds because you are constantly adapting and making empathetic connections.”
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