This week, it's my pleasure to feature my friend, the beautifully miscegenated, generally elevated and reliably opinionated Miz Bohemia as guest. Miz Bohemia offers the following definition:
Multi-cultural, adj. 1. The creative interchange of numerous ethnic and racial subcultures. e.g. Grandpa BoheMia is Danish-Icelandic and he falls in love with Granny BoheMia who is Iranian with some ancient African-Iranian blood in her. They get married and have babies. One baby grows up to be Mama BoheMia who falls in love with Daddy BoheMia. Mama and Daddy BoheMia get married and have two babies, the first one being Miz BoheMia. What a true creative interchange of numerous ethnic and racial subcultures! Well done Grandpa and Granny BoheMia!
2. Strongly influenced by or having prominent characteristics of several cultural groups or peoples. e.g. Mama BoheMia leaves Daddy BoheMia as well as Iran when Miz BoheMia is all but 2-years-old. They move a lot. Miz BoheMia lives in Spain, Denmark and several US cities, travels extensively and attends Spanish, British, Danish and American schools. In her first high school, her closest friends are Armenian, Zimbwabwian and Vietnamese. She is accepted with open arms into the African American Community at her second high school and her closest friends are Slovenian and Mexican. By college, Miz BoheMia hangs out with Tibetan Buddhist Monks, dances her Sundays away at the local Hare Krishna temple, meditates with New Age Group Hippies, attends animals rights rallies with the likes of Def Leppard's Phil Collen, starts a chapter of Amnesty International at the college where she makes Muslim, Catholic, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish and even Republican (gasp!!!) friends. Mama BoheMia! You have allowed Miz BoheMia to be strongly influenced by or have prominent characteristics of several cultural groups or peoples! Kudos to you!
3. Personal Definition: A term attempting to capture a cultural phenomenon born out of the mixing and intermingling of different ethnic and racial subcultures but that falls short of capturing the emotional, social and educational complexities that arise as a direct result of this phenomenon. e.g. Miz BoheMia is Iranian-Danish and raised between Spain and the US. She leaves out the Icelandic. Simplifying the long intro is best and she has had no Icelandic influences in her life.
Danish and Iranian... yes.
Spanish and American... yes.
Miz BoheMia has curly hair, hazel eyes, a normal stature, skinny frame and an olive complexion. She looks Iranian, Mediterranean in a petite Scandinavian frame, minus the height.
Looking the part of her Middle Eastern heritage, she speaks the language, albeit in an accented Farsi, and is mistaken many a time for the "real thing". This gets her in hot water friends for she does not cook, is not crazy about serving men, or anyone else for that matter, does not like boisterous family reunions nor decorum and ettiquette attached to words such as "tradition" and "obligation" and does not believe virginity to be a virtue. Yes, she looks the part of an Iranian girl but after that there is not much common ground for our Miz BoheMia.
She is liberal, mostly a loner unless the company she keeps is her choice, likes her space, her privacy, her activities, her schedule, her territory and her boundaries. Her actions and her petite frame are truly Scandinavian as are her liberal sexual views but the olive in her skin, the curl set against the backdrop of brown hair are typically met with resistance and her claims of Danish blood in her veins with skepticism.
Her looks and her accent fit right into the heart of her Spanish province but before there is a beginning we come to the end. With heavily pierced ears, a pierced nose, non-smoking, juice-drinking, veggie eating and yogic habits Miz BoheMia is out of her element in this smoker's, meat eater's, bullfighter's, heavy drinker's, non-exerciser's South.
Multicultural... often viewed as exotic, enriching, unique... all true. However, there is a reality of pain attached to being multicultural as it entails a constant need, by society, for a neat and tidy definition of what cannot truly be boxed into one word and set in stone. The multicultural individual is one who learns that nothing is 100%, that fitting in ain't gonna happen... multicultural... you know what, perhaps we should take another look at the word...
4. A term coined out of a need created by the cultural phenomenon born out of the mixing and intermingling of different ethnic and racial subcultures in order to create a much-needed and broad niche for those individuals that fall short of a definition. Multicultural... that's me.
About Miz Bohemia: See Multi-cultural. A mother of two, poet essayist, yoga instructor and purveyor of fine fashion accessories, Miz Bohemia has been a generous new contributor to the blogosphere. She is the author of Miz Bohemia's Rhapsody a site as well-traveled as its creator. Miz Bohemia excels at bringing an adventuresome spirit to an electronic medium, something not easy to do. Miz Bohemia also offers two fashion-sales blogs, BoheMian Funk, and BoHo BouTIQue on which she describes the purses and bags she sells, an ancient and honored tradition in the Persian-Danish-Icelandic-Spanish-Californian community. I very much enjoy her writing and think the products she sells are cool-looking. I admit, though, your humble editor is as fashion-backward as Miz Bohemia is fashion forward so judge for yourselves. Thanks to Miz Bohemia for being a guest here and for inventing Autobiographical Lexicography. Remember, friends, it happened here first.
How to be a future guest in this site: Just send an email to dpascover at mac dot com. On a future Wednesday, after posting that week's guest, I'll send you an email with a word to define. You'll be expected to return your definition along with a graphic representing either your definition or yourself by the following Saturday. The only rules are no profanity and no novels, please. And whatever I make up at the last minute.