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Unwritten Curse

The Cultural Diversity Challenge | 17 August 2018

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Unwritten Curse

Challenge Name: The Cultural Diversity Challenge

Challenge Deadline: Friday, 17 August 2018

Accepted Fandom(s): Harry Potter, OF

Accepted Ratings: up to Mature

Challenge Details: This challenge was inspired by a recent conversation I had on the Diversity in Next Gen! thread. We were discussing cultural diversity in fic and it made me realize how little I know about foreign (to me) cultures. I personally want to learn more so that I can engage with diverse people and so that I can authentically represent them in my writing. This challenge is a way for all of us to do just that.

It's simple. Choose a culture that is foreign to you and write a story in which one or more characters practice that culture. Obviously no single character can be the spokesperson for their entire culture, and this story can only be a glimpse at a greater whole, but it will give us a taste of cultural diversity and make the archives an even more inclusive place.

Consideration will be given to how naturally you incorporate the culture into your story. NO EXPOSITION. I don't want to read an essay on the culture, I want to see how it plays out in a character's day-to-day life. I want to see it in action.

If you need help choosing a culture, I have a list of 35 options that may be used as inspiration--so feel free to choose a number. There are no limits to how many people can "claim" the same culture. As I said above, it is impossible to capture the full complexity of a culture from one perspective, as each person embodies their culture differently. On top of that, there are so many aspects of a culture to explore: religious practices, familial structure, traditions, art and literature, social interaction, food, language, etc. So please, the more the merrier.

Rules:

  • Must be posted on the HPFT archives if you want a review.
  • Must have "for Unwritten Curse's Cultural Diversity Challenge" somewhere in the summary or story notes.
  • The story can be any length, but if it's a chaptered fic, you must have at least two chapters posted so that I can get a sense of plot progression.
  • You cannot enter a prewritten story, but you can combine with other challenges.
  • Multiple entries are allowed.

Rewards:

  • Every entry will receive a review.
  • Third place will receive three prize reviews and a challenge graphic.
  • Second place will receive five prize reviews and a challenge graphic.
  • First place will receive seven prize reviews, a challenge graphic, and ad space in my signature for a month.

I'm super excited to see what y'all come up with! :yay: And please feel free to ask me any questions that come up.

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sunshine_locks

sounds like a fun challenge!! can i be a maybe?

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Unwritten Curse
21 minutes ago, sunshine_locks said:

sounds like a fun challenge!! can i be a maybe?

You betcha! Any idea what culture you'd like to explore?

 

TAKERS

 

MAYBES

  • sunshine_locks

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StarFeather
Posted (edited)

I am maybe with OF, the protagonist makes musical instruments in Nordic country(ies).

Edited by StarFeather

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facingthenorthwind

I have plans for a story involving a Māori Quidditch player, but.....I really shouldn't start another WIP.......so I'll be a maybe? 

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Unwritten Curse
9 hours ago, StarFeather said:

I am maybe with OF, the protagonist makes musical instruments in Nordic country(ies).

This sounds AWESOME.

9 hours ago, facingthenorthwind said:

I have plans for a story involving a Māori Quidditch player, but.....I really shouldn't start another WIP.......so I'll be a maybe? 

Okay, I am totally going to bug you until you post this because I NEED TO READ THIS. Sorry. I'm a WIP enabler.

 

TAKERS

 

MAYBES

  • sunshine_locks
  • StarFeather - Nordic
  • facingthenorthwind - Māori

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sunshine_locks

probably indian, because i actually know very little about it. so it'd be a nice dive in. i'm assuming the fic doesn't revolve around the culture?

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Rumpelstiltskin

I'd love to be a maybe with [most likely] OF and I think I'd really like to explore Latvian culture. 

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Unwritten Curse
17 hours ago, sunshine_locks said:

probably indian, because i actually know very little about it. so it'd be a nice dive in. i'm assuming the fic doesn't revolve around the culture?

It's up to you. If you want to focus your story on a specific ritual/tradition of the culture you have chosen, you can. Or you can focus on an unrelated plot and incorporate aspects of the culture throughout. I'm cool with either as long as you don't delve into a long, in-depth explanation of the culture. I want you to practice the "show, don't tell" rule. Make sense?

16 hours ago, Rumpelstiltskin said:

I'd love to be a maybe with [most likely] OF and I think I'd really like to explore Latvian culture. 

Sounds great! :thumbsup:

 

TAKERS

 

MAYBES

  • sunshine_locks - Indian
  • StarFeather - Nordic
  • facingthenorthwind - Māori
  • Rumpelstiltskin - Latvian

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Chelts-rhj

Could I be a maybe with Deaf culture? 

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Unwritten Curse
3 hours ago, Chelts-rhj said:

Could I be a maybe with Deaf culture? 

YES YES YES.

 

TAKERS

 

MAYBES

  • sunshine_locks - Indian
  • StarFeather - Nordic
  • facingthenorthwind - Māori
  • Rumpelstiltskin - Latvian
  • Chelts-rhj - Deaf
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TreacleTart

Question. You said no pre-written, but what about WIPs. My story Isabella is literally exclusively about Mexican culture and I’ve only posted 2 chp. It’s meant to be significantly longer, so if I were to post a few new chapters would it count?

If not, may I please have two random cultures.

Also, is there a limit on how many entries I can submit? 

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Unwritten Curse
21 hours ago, TreacleTart said:

Question. You said no pre-written, but what about WIPs. My story Isabella is literally exclusively about Mexican culture and I’ve only posted 2 chp. It’s meant to be significantly longer, so if I were to post a few new chapters would it count?

If not, may I please have two random cultures.

Also, is there a limit on how many entries I can submit? 

Awww, what the hell--I'll say yes to the WIP because I really don't have a reason to say no. Please make sure that you post at least TWO new chapters as to follow the same rules as everyone else who enters.

There is no limit on entries.

Would you still like two random cultures?

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TreacleTart
28 minutes ago, Unwritten Curse said:

Awww, what the hell--I'll say yes to the WIP because I really don't have a reason to say no. Please make sure that you post at least TWO new chapters as to follow the same rules as everyone else who enters.

There is no limit on entries.

Would you still like two random cultures?

Perfect. Cultures is my thing, so be prepared for lots of entries.

Yes, two random cultures, please.

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Unwritten Curse

I shuffled my list and these are the first two that appeared: Korean and Finnish. Let me know if you want to swap those out; I've got plenty more. ;)

 

 

ALL POSSIBLE PARTICIPANTS

  • sunshine_locks - Indian
  • StarFeather - Nordic
  • facingthenorthwind - Māori
  • Rumpelstiltskin - Latvian
  • Chelts-rhj - Deaf
  • TreacleTart - Mexican

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TreacleTart
3 hours ago, Unwritten Curse said:

I shuffled my list and these are the first two that appeared: Korean and Finnish. Let me know if you want to swap those out; I've got plenty more. ;)

 

 

ALL POSSIBLE PARTICIPANTS

  • sunshine_locks - Indian
  • StarFeather - Nordic
  • facingthenorthwind - Māori
  • Rumpelstiltskin - Latvian
  • Chelts-rhj - Deaf
  • TreacleTart - Mexican

North or South Korean? 

Can I swap Finnish?

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val

Oooh, sign me up as a maybe with either Ethiopian or Balkanic culture! 

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just.a.willow.tree

Quick question, is there any major reason why we can't use our own culture? It's the one I feel most comfortable writing considering I have firsthand experience with it, and it's the one that I feel like I can represent most faithfully. I'm just really nervous about handling another culture that I haven't personally experienced because of all the many, many ways it can go wrong. And also because you said you wanted to learn more about diverse cultures, and I think the best way to learn would be to read something written by someone from that culture, you know what I mean? :P 

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Unwritten Curse
18 hours ago, TreacleTart said:

North or South Korean? 

Can I swap Finnish?

South :)

Sure. How about Italian?

 

16 hours ago, val said:

Oooh, sign me up as a maybe with either Ethiopian or Balkanic culture! 

:yay:

 

16 hours ago, just.a.willow.tree said:

Quick question, is there any major reason why we can't use our own culture? It's the one I feel most comfortable writing considering I have firsthand experience with it, and it's the one that I feel like I can represent most faithfully. I'm just really nervous about handling another culture that I haven't personally experienced because of all the many, many ways it can go wrong. And also because you said you wanted to learn more about diverse cultures, and I think the best way to learn would be to read something written by someone from that culture, you know what I mean? :P 

My thought when creating this challenge is that we could all learn about new cultures together. The challenge here is that you would research a different culture, maybe talk to someone from that culture, and explore what you discovered in a fic. Yes, it is challenging to capture a culture that you haven't experienced, but as authors, we are constantly challenged to depict things that we don't have firsthand experience with. It could go wrong, or it could go marvelously right (like Breathe by @poppunkpadfoot). ;)

That said, I definitely agree that the best way to learn about a culture is to read something written by someone who lives the culture; I am keen on doing so (and I encourage you to do so to prepare for your entry, if you do decide to enter). This challenge asks you to break out of your comfort zone and explore something new to you. And this community is so wonderful and accepting and diverse that I am sure any one of us would be happy to help you in that regard.

 

ALL POSSIBLE PARTICIPANTS

  • sunshine_locks - Indian
  • StarFeather - Nordic
  • facingthenorthwind - Māori
  • Rumpelstiltskin - Latvian
  • Chelts-rhj - Deaf
  • TreacleTart - Mexican
  • val - Ethiopian or Balkanic
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poppunkpadfoot
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Unwritten Curse said:

My thought when creating this challenge is that we could all learn about new cultures together. The challenge here is that you would research a different culture, maybe talk to someone from that culture, and explore what you discovered in a fic. Yes, it is challenging to capture a culture that you haven't experienced, but as authors, we are constantly challenged to depict things that we don't have firsthand experience with. It could go wrong, or it could go marvelously right (like Breathe by @poppunkpadfoot). ;)

That said, I definitely agree that the best way to learn about a culture is to read something written by someone who lives the culture; I am keen on doing so (and I encourage you to do so to prepare for your entry, if you do decide to enter). This challenge asks you to break out of your comfort zone and explore something new to you. And this community is so wonderful and accepting and diverse that I am sure any one of us would be happy to help you in that regard.

:ninjavanish: *sneaks in*

@just.a.willow.tree I totally understand what you're saying! It's definitely true that one of the best ways to learn about a culture is through people who are actually part of that culture. So I'm here to promote sensitivity readers :P I must've had a team of like... at least 4 people who helped me with Breathe, and I definitely couldn't (and wouldn't!) have done it without them.

I also have an idea, although I am not Gina so this may or may not be permissible - what if you wrote a story about someone from your own culture becoming immersed in a new culture or meeting someone from a culture different than their own? That way you could educate people about your own culture while also exploring a new culture. (@Unwritten Curse?)

Okay that is all I have to say.

*sneaks back out* :ninjavanish:

Edited by poppunkpadfoot
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Unwritten Curse
8 minutes ago, poppunkpadfoot said:

:ninjavanish: *sneaks in*

@just.a.willow.tree I totally understand what you're saying! It's definitely true that one of the best ways to learn about a culture is through people who are actually part of that culture. So I'm here to promote sensitivity readers :P I must've had a team of like... at least 4 people who helped me with Breathe, and I definitely couldn't (and wouldn't!) have done it without them.

I also have an idea, although I am not Gina so this may or may not be permissible - what if you wrote a story about someone from your own culture becoming immersed in a new culture or meeting someone from a culture different than their own? That way you could educate people about your own culture while also exploring a new culture. (@Unwritten Curse?)

Okay that is all I have to say.

*sneaks back out* :ninjavanish:

I think that’s a beautiful idea and I love it. :loveshower:

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Unwritten Curse

Thanks, Kenny! I'm excited to read it. :)

 

ENTRIES

StarFeather - Albus Potter's Trip to Nordic Magical World (T)

ALL POSSIBLE PARTICIPANTS

  • sunshine_locks - Indian
  • facingthenorthwind - Māori
  • Rumpelstiltskin - Latvian
  • Chelts-rhj - Deaf
  • TreacleTart - Mexican
  • val - Ethiopian or Balkanic
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sunshine_locks

HELLO YOU'RE A LEGEND FOR VALIDATING THIS THING

for organization's sake, i'm still gonna say that my entry is up! 

dum vivimus vivamus (M)

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