The Belt and Road Initiative: A Theme Westerners Know Little About
Recently I was sitting around the dinner table with my brother and some friends. We were talking about our lives and the latest happenings. Having been engrossed in conversation about the usual topics for some time, it seemed like the evening was just about winding down when one or the other of us realized... wait a second... we have not yet discussed the recent goings on in Turkmenistan. And come to think of it, not one of us had had anything meaningful to say about Azerbaijan the whole entire evening. Having realized how entirely dense we were being to leave out such subjects, we immediately began a lively discussion that finished off our evening nicely.
Yep, that never happened. Because the sad truth is, with the exception of the adorable wunderkind who appeared on Jimmy Kimmel in 2013, there are no Americans alive today who know where Turkmenistan is... or how to spell it... or that it’s an actual country. Many Americans are vaguely aware of their own ethnocentricity and are likely to be somewhat apologetic about it when they meet someone foreign at a dinner party and mistakenly take Sierra Leone for an Italian province or have to be corrected after introducing a colleague as coming from Bangladesh, the capital of India. But charming self deprecation is not going to save us in the coming decades.
The fact is, there are sections of the world that are poised to
SammyBuhrgrewupin NewYorkandrelocated toChinain2008.“Ilove theChinesepeople andtheirculture.”She hastaughtEnglishat UESTCandSWUFE.