There is little to add to all the things said about 2020. Perhaps just to note that it did not go unnoticed. It was a year that we lived more consciously than ever. From day to day, from curfew to new Corona statistics, from lockdowns to travel restrictions, moving from one ‘bubble’ to the next. We noticed differences more than ever: between groups of people who were strict and others not so strict with the rules; countries that called themselves democratic saw ‘authoritarian’ others with sometimes better results in controlling the pandemic; we noticed differences in eating habits, mass behaviour, greeting rituals and so on. What was unbearable interference in the private sphere for some was a natural trust in government for others. What was real fear for some was seen as overprotection by others; what was taken for care-homes turned into prisons for some of the senior citizens. One thing struck us at C4C – biased as we are of course: these were all examples of how culture shapes our lives, and even the way we die.
We feel encouraged by the initiatives in neighbourhoods and communities all over the world where people used old traditions and invented new ones to help each other. We see that new understanding is replacing old judgment: in working out how to deal with fear and isolation, how to care for the vulnerable, how to organise society in a more equal way. We keep looking for these examples and we keep using them in our interventions as we have done in 2020. You will hear more about this in our upcoming annual report.
We thank you wholeheartedly for the support you gave us, and we hope to be able to do more and show you more in the coming year. We wish you happiness and transcultural adventures for 2021!
Stay safe & stay tuned,
Bibiane and Willem