Inclusive from the word ‘go’

Yesterday, at the Pecha Kucha Night ‘Green Your City’ edition, I had an interesting interaction that indicates a bit of where my thinking has started to go since returning from the Just Metropolis conference.

I was talking to a friend about something I was sure she’d either be interested or know about. “It’s this event about cross-cultural approaches to sustainability, ” I said. My tongue stumbled over the name, rendered crisp and clear in my textual mind’s eye. “I think it was called, ‘RAN-Gee CHAN-Gee?”

She smiled, “Yeah, we were wondering what to do with the name. It used to ‘Intercultural Alliance on Climate Change’…so boring, so we changed the name to Rangi Changi,” she elaborated. Ran-jee Chan-jee. Soft G. Sense-making. “It means vibrancy.”

We smiled. At the beginning of the Pecha Kucha night, the Cause and Affect awesomekinds had joked about the confusion caused by the name of their event too. Japanese slang for chit-chat, befitting the event’s genus in a Japanese architecture firm. Wikipedia IPA pronounciation guide writ high on the wall. Mayor Gregor Robertson changed it slightly every time he said it, either pulling our leg or really running with the statement that however you said it was the right way to say it.

And then it all made sense.

“It’s perfect,” I told her. “We should name everything we do weird things, to remind people what it’s like to be uncomfortable with how to refer to something, the way newcomers and immigrants are when they are here too.”

This is how we can be inclusive and tolerant: by being willing to relate to the all-too-common experience of being new, outside and powerless, however slight, to remind us we are blessed, and to extend those blessings when we can.

One Comment

  1. Pecha Kucha == chit-chat in Japanese
    You learn something new every day, had no idea!
    I prefer the Filipino word Tsimis which == gossip but is also chit chat! :-)

    Posted June 24, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

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