Here’s the fat and simple truth: Culture learning is as simple as joyfully and graciously accepting the words, “You are fat!” and “You are so simple.” What? Does that sound strange? Well, after 14 years in Africa, those words still make my mind do a cultural calculation.
Step 1. You are “fat” most likely means “You are pretty, you look healthy or you look good!” When told, “You are looking good,” it may mean, “You are fat!” In other words, it’s a compliment, and should be taken as such!
Step 2. Being “simple” means I’m uncomplicated, friendly, easy to get to know.
Step 3. You are fat + You are simple = You are
blessed and a blessing
Culture learning is a bending of the mind, a receiving and rejoicing in the diversity of God’s world, and often laying aside my own culture to embrace another. The longer I live outside of my home culture, the more I realize how much I don't know and understand (I think that's true of life with God and people in general.)
That's the fat and simple truth of culture learning.