Wednesday, 13 November 2013

"Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon..."

As a young child growing up in the 80s, I loved listening to Boy George and the Culture Club sing  their smash hit "Karma Chameleon".  I wasn't sure if it was because I liked the harmonica solos or enjoyed watching George's boyish dancing.  It wasn't until I was much older that I realised that the upbeat rhythm of the song contradicted the heartfelt plea of the lyrics.  The story behind the song speaks about George's frustration with the drummer's flippant treatment of their relationship, fluctuating between women and George, as outlined in the chorus "you come and go, you come and go".

Adaptability as a cultural identifier for Pasifika giftedness has similar connotations (not the flippant treatment part) but the part that is associated with the ability for gifted Pasifika students to flow in and out and between their different worlds, to come and go.  The flow suggests a sophisticated fluidity that appears seamless and in fact highlights the gifted Pasifika child's ability to excel in both worlds - the Pasifika world and the Western world with ease.  Being able to translate (literally and figuratively) between worlds, empowers gifted Pasifika students to engage confidently in both worlds.

1. Adaptability - e.g. Strategically adapts to NZ or Pasifika way of thinking
Students are able to move between worlds depending on what is required of them having mastered the shift between cultural capitals that allow opportunity for success.  Students who are strong in their heritage languages are able to translate between worlds, whereas students who are not so strong in their heritage languages are at least familiar with the processes for socialisation in both worlds which steer them well for understanding expected behaviours and acceptance.  (Faaea-Semeatu, 2011).


In saying that, what I'm starting to notice is that there are more worlds than just the cultural worlds that students need to navigate through, the contexts within these worlds are becoming more diverse.
This means that the diversity is not just in reference to cultural diversity and the interactions of these groups, but we're talking about the multiples layers within diversity - the diversities of diversity if you will.

Thinking about these multiple layers of diversities and maybe even the "diverse-cities" that we live in, means that if we don't spend our time trying to understand how to engage with others who are different to us, it means that we limit our abilities and capabilities to be one with our adaptabilities. (I feel a rap song coming on..).

Something to think about as we come and go, come and go...