Women from around the world will share stories about maternity care and birth during the next Cultural Conversations meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 1-2:30 p.m., at Crossroads Community Center.
The women's group will focus on birth stories from different parts of the world, and how family structures, cultures, and traditions impact attitudes, experiences and choices about birth. Following small group discussions, during which participants will share their experiences, members Anna Shatrova and Paula Matthysse will lead the conversation by sharing their personal birth stories. Each woman has four children and their birth stories are unique.
Matthysse said that "birth stories are about the resiliency of women." Shatrova, from Russia, brings birth stories from her cultural setting. They will share how their choices were informed by culture, family and an understanding of what it means to be a mother.
Cultural Conversations was launched in 2010 as a partnership between diverse women in the community and the City of Bellevue. It was initiated by women who had a desire to get better connected with their changing community. The group meets about every six weeks. The events are free, refreshments are served and women of all ages, faiths and cultures are welcome.
Storytelling is a powerful way to learn about the cultures of others. Participants see this as an opportunity to experience others' cultures and comprehend various perspectives. This is also a platform for participants to seek understanding among friends and neighbors who are from different ethnic backgrounds. The relaxed and intimate atmosphere creates a unique and safe environment for women to bond and share their experiences.
The 2013-2014 Cultural Conversation cycle kicked off in September. An ethnic potluck is planned for Dec. 3. Possible topics at upcoming meetings include:
- one family - many cultures;
- cultural translations - how culture, language and perception impact communication;
- finding your own voice - breaking through cultural challenges and expectations;
- immigration - the gain and the loss;
- cultural mishaps and labeling; and
- cultural attitudes toward aging and elder care.
Crossroads Community Center is located at 16000 NE 10th St. For more information about Cultural Conversations, please contact Ying Carlson at 425-452-4342 or mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or Barb Tuininga at 425-452-2735 or email@example.com.
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