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HEALTH CULTURE DIPLOMACY


 

                 HEALTH CULTURE DIPLOMACY AT THE GLOBAL TEA HOUSE

Cultural diplomacy is defined by the International Institute for Cultural Diplomacy as, "A course of actions, which are based on and utilize the exchange of ideas, values, traditions and other aspects of culture or identity, whether to strengthen relationships, enhance socio-cultural cooperation or promote national interests; Cultural diplomacy can be practiced by either the public sector, private sector or civil society." The word culture comes from the Latin colere meaning cultivate. Ur in Hebrew means light. A synthesis of these roots of the word suggests that culture is in essence the cultivation of light. Cultural Diplomacy is the action one takes in the process of seeking peace through culture as the cultivation of light. Diplomacy, the highly refined communication skill demonstrated in relationships between peoples of different cultures, is an antidote to the culture clashes that can lead to frustration, power struggle, anger, and violence.

Culture clash occurs when people with different perspectives seek to extend their influence by convincing others of the “rightness” of their views. Culture clash is the greatest obstacle to building healthy caring communities. At the center of culture clash is the fear of loss of control and the subsequent need to dominate others and convert them to one’s own cultural beliefs and practices. The purpose of health culture diplomacy is to open and maintain a dialogue that considers a variety of views about health and healing so as to promote community-building through healthcare practice and education that is genuinely person- and community-centered. Health culture diplomacy suggests the pursuit of the complementarity of four health care cultures: the biomedical, complementary therapies (a sub-culture of the biomedical), self-care, and the traditional/indigenous. Health culture diplomacy seeks to improve communication, understanding, exchange between cultures, and to draw upon all health resources when addressing tough health problems that challenge us all. 

READ ABOUT HEALTH CULTURE DIPLOMACY BY DR. MARTHA 

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   THE FIVE ARROWS PROGRAM

WHY FIVE ARROWS?

The Peacemaker of the Iroquois Confederacy, with the assistance of the Mother of Nations, Jigonsasee – the woman without a face, who was the first to accept the Peacemaker’s message of Peace and Power, orchestrated peace between the five nations known historically as the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy of Turtle Island (United States and Canada). He taught his student Hayanwatah (Hiawatha) that the five nations standing together were stronger than if they stood alone. Our strength as a people is in our unity – in our community represented in the bundling of the five arrows of Hiawatha. 

THE FIVE ARROWS PROGRAM  
  
The goal of the Five Arrows Program is to demonstrate "complementarity" as balance in education and practice between the four identified health care cultures: the biomedical, complementary therapies (a subculture of the biomedical), self-care, and the traditional/indigenous. The "five arrows" are represented in the four directions as the four health care cultures and the first arrow as the complementarity that harmoniously unifies these four cultures. The curricular foundation for this two-month program is the Cultural Diplomacy Model©. The program includes: immersion in a two-day face-to-face program followed by a two-day teacher training intensive in the cultural diplomacy curriculum (Solution-Focused Negotiation; Peace-Making Communication, and Mindfulness); bi-monthly faculty-facilitated online small group work; and cultural immersion experiences.

WHAT IS INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE?

Indigenous knowledge refers to traditional or local knowledge that is unique to a given culture or society. It is the knowledge that people in a given community have developed over time often outside the formal education system. It is based on experience, tested over centuries of use, adapted to local culture and environment, dynamic and changing.  It is the basis for local-level decision-making in agriculture, health care, food preparation, education, natural resource management, and a host of other activities in communities.

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