News Letter 2000
How to REALLY Dig a Culture!
    Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to spend extended time abroad can testify to what an amazing experience it is to live within another culture. Last summer I had theopportunity of a lifetime: led by Professor Walt Tremer of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, I spent a month on an archaeological dig in southern Belarus. I don’t know what it was that captivated me the most, the archeology, the people, the language (which I had never studied), the lifestyle, or just the Russian cities themselves. In Belarus, I came across some of the most exquisite and breathless sights I have ever had the fortune to see. Perhaps it was the culmination of all of these things that resulted in my learning the basics of the Russian language (Russian I) and enrolling in the Russian Culture and Civilization class this spring. I have studied other languages before, but never have I been so filled with curiosity and fascination as when seeking an understanding of what Russia means to foreigners and natives alike. I have never felt so changed as when I returned from Belarus: not only had my “cultural bubble” been shattered, but I came away with a sense --a tiny insight-- of both the differences and similarities between people separated not only by place but by time. There is more out there than our individual lives, and the only way to begin to uncover it all is through understanding the values of other cultures, both near to and far from our own. I now dwell within this fascination, this desire to understand what I couldn’t when I was surrounded by it. It is through this that I know I have had a glimpse --if only the smallest piece-- of the entire world.
                        Lindi Wilhelm, ’01 
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