As we continue to wait for Covid to subside so we can submit our visa paperwork for Taiwan and Indonesia, we’re continually amazed by opportunities for cross-cultural engagement here in Phoenix. It’s a big city with a lot of international communities. Gena and the kids explored another part of it today, a large international supermarket. Although we’re already familiar with international markets with more of an Asian focus, this one is more Middle Eastern focused. Lots of fascinating foods, as well as many people wearing headscarves.
Our family got to enjoy some of the economically priced foods, including a spiced beef mixture and chicken marinated in a mixture of spices, yogurt and lemon juice. It made for a delicious meal, as well as a time to talk about how we might be able to strike up conversations with other shoppers. Certainly, there were plenty of foodstuffs that were not familiar, and perhaps we could ask nearby shoppers questions that might enable a conversation to ensue.
Many communities have markets that cater to international tastes, whether the Asian-oriented Ranch 99 or Lee-Lee’s markets, a local carniceria catering to Hispanic tastes, or a place like Baiz providing options for Middle Eastern cuisine. Examples of the creativity of our God, and foretastes of the Great Feast to come! But also opportunities for people gifted in this way to meet people and perhaps build friendships that could lead to conversations about spirituality and faith.
What opportunities for engaging with people from different cultures exist in your community?