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Word Count: 503
I stand in between two cultures and two worlds Growing up in America and being Korean has enabled me to experience two cultures at once but what opened my eyes to other cultures were my experiences within Native American reservations Since the age of twelve I have been going to Native reservations each summer interacting with the adults and children who live there In the Hoquiam Reservation I served as a camp leader at the American Indian fellowship Kids camp where the children of different native tribes came together Swinomish Indians Makah Indians Hoh River Skokomish Samish and the Cowlitz Indians It was a multi-tribal camp that was created to foster community and connections for the younger generations of natives And in this place my perspectives changed to see the uniqueness in other traditions and cultures I started to learn more about understanding and accepting different people groups The world in the res slang for reservation was an adventure to interact with the youthchildren and be intentional in learning and growing in cross-cultural experiencesEach tribe opened my eyes to the beauty within their own cultures During the Annual Canoe Journeys hosted in different Native reservations I was able to witness how different tribes encompassed distinct and unique cultures within the Native American culture Every tribe embraced the beauty of their own language dances weavings customs and beliefs Also their mixture of modern and traditional culture was intriguing as I interacted with their younger generation One tribe believed in various gods and another believed in a single creator Their languages and dances also ranged from drum dances to intricate footwork dances I remember when I was allowed to see a Swinomish tribal dance The powerful beating of the drums and the heartfelt cries of the natives were so beautiful and touching The dance evoked powerful emotions It emitted an energy that was boundless and impelling When I was called upon to join the next dance
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