A Multicultural Outfit for Summer

A Multicultural Summer Outfit

Red and White Stripes, White Denim Shorts, Inspired by the French Riviera - www.theblushfulhippocrene.blogspot.com

Considering what's been happening in Europe these last few days, it's becoming harder to imagine how we could have an inclusive and respectful multicultural future. I'm always trying to remain optimistic and yet part of me still breaks when any country claims they want to stand alone. That "alone " is something I could never understand.

Firstly, on the human level, I doubt many people are satisfied being alone. Sure, there are the introverts, but even they crave the companionship of other people, albeit in a different manner. At the same time, no one can have the same power when they are part of a team than when they're isolated. An army is an army because of its numbers; a giant alone wouldn't stand much chance facing a legion of well-prepared warriors on his own. 

Most importantly, however, I don't understand how some people can find multiculturalism to be a "force for evil" when for me, it's one of the most positive and inspiring forces in our world today. We can travel all around the world, meet different cultures, blend with them or choose to stand apart. There's a dialogue that's always open and welcomes everyone to participate, and in my head, it's there to push us towards bettering ourselves, by way of learning from others, helping others and broadening our minds to include points of view that we could never have dreamt of. 

Red and White Stripes, White Denim Shorts, Inspired by the French Riviera - www.theblushfulhippocrene.blogspot.comThis blending of different ideas and cultures is something I always found exhilarating, and that kept me believing in the European identity; believing that it could be a force for betterment, for gaining a European (or global even) outlook, for not wishing to eradicate the "other" from "us" but make us slowly realise that there are no clear borders between the "us" and the "them". Perhaps its idealistic but on paper nothing seems more forward and unifying than a force that combines the wisdom, and yes stupidity too, of many different ideologies and cultures. Alone, we can only see things from our claustrophobic point of view. Joined with others, we're open to so much more potential. 
Every day, we are influenced by some other culture. It's unavoidable in our day and age, but the sad part is that many of us don't realise, just how deep this influence is, and how different we would be without it, both on a personal and on a national (whatever your nationality is) level. Take my outfit, for example. When I was looking at the pictures, I thought how much my outfit resembled the classic "French Riviera" look. Now, I might have never been there, but I still have a clear image in my head of what that means. I'm also positive that when I was grabbing these clothes in the morning, I had that same image subconsciously in my head. The weather is holiday-like enough here, so why not? 

Besides the French influence, though, there's also a clear British influence (or a mix of both to be precise) embodied in the inimitable Jane Birkin. The shorts, the stripes, the sandals are screaming her name, and yet, she herself was influenced by the place she was calling her half-home. See what beauty a combination of different cultures can bring forth?

Red and White Stripes, White Denim Shorts, Inspired by the French Riviera - www.theblushfulhippocrene.blogspot.com
And that's not the end of it. My top which is from Zara and my shorts which are from Stradivarius are both products of Inditex, an international company based in Spain. All its brands include clothes inspired or originated from many different cultures. Let's just hope that one day we'll stop calling "folk" anything that's influenced by societies we aren't too familiar with.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         | TOP: ZARA | SHORTS: STRADIVARIUS (last year, similar here) | BIRKENSTOCK ARIZONA SANDALS |

My shoes, the notorious Birkenstock Arizona sandals, originate in Langenberg, Germany, where they were first introduced as "orthopaedic footwear for wounded soldiers". Sure, they might have gained popularity by the "hippies" in the 70's and the tourists, but that didn't stop them from taking over the world. They were worn by several people, not just as another comfortable sandal but as a fashion statement. From laid-back Californians to minimal Scandinavians, many feet have been graced with the infamous German sandal. 

Where would we be, then, without all this influence? This exchange of ideas and attitudes, even on a matter as "ornamental" as fashion, have played a huge role in making it the force and pool for personal expression that it is, for many, today. How much more important, multiculturalism is in other aspects of our modern lives? How much do we owe to scientists of other countries, to visionaries, to historians, to every single person that has contributed even in a small way to the exchange ideas and visions beyond his or her own, narrow borders?

There's one thing I know for sure. Without multiculturalism, the world would be a much duller place.

Red and White Stripes, White Denim Shorts, Inspired by the French Riviera - www.theblushfulhippocrene.blogspot.com

These are just some simple thoughts that have been on my mind these last few days. Nothing too profound or of much consequence. I was just finding it hard not to share at least some of my thoughts on a matter that's very close to my heart.

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