Create Diversity Tip Three: basic research
I fear today’s tip isn’t very exciting, but basic research isn’t always very exciting. If you want to write about a place or people you don’t know, get yourself to the library and start researching. Now I will share a secret–get children’s books. While adult travel books do have some important information, children’s books have more sensory information: colors, sights, sounds, etc. This will help your book more than knowing the twenty top mid-range hotels in a city.
There is also a video series I like: ‘Families of the World.’ Each country has its own video, and there are two different families per country. You get to see a typical day in the household, including school, meals, and jobs.
My other tip for basic research: travel shows. You didn’t see that coming did you? I bet you’re shocked and amazed. But better then just any travel show, watch No Reservations and Bizarre Foods. Both of the hosts interact with the local people, go to local markets, and describe everything they are doing.
Don’t forget the food. I live in a college city, which means I’m lucky enough to have lots of different ethnic restaurants around. Check your local paper or phone book and see what options you have available to you. If they don’t have what you need, try cooking a dish from the culture you’re researching. Sunday’s at Moosewood is my favorite multi-cultural cook book, but head out to the library or search the internet for websites.
Find someone on the internet who knows the culture–either because they lived some place or have visited there. Reach out and ask, and those of you answering questions don’t get snippy, just smile and know that someone is trying to learn something new and answer the question.
For you Music Monday song I offer you a sweet sappy love song from Azerbaijan Running Scared by Eldar & Nigar