October 17, 2023

Honors SOC Kick Off Kaleidoscope

"The people in the South were more hospitable and welcoming than in any other place in the U.S."
BY: Nathan Moore

Honors program Kaleidoscope features instructors from foreign lands

Two women from different parts of the world kicked off a reignited series spotlighting international cultures. Women’s Assistant Soccer Coach Lydia Sutcliffe and Mathematics Instructor Saadat Faizi spoke to Raymond Campus Honors students in the first of the Kaleidoscope series.

English native Sutcliffe and Pakistan native Faizi familiarized the audience with traditional foods and slang phrases used in their native countries. But they told students about differences in attitude. Sutcliffe talked about the differences in the game of soccer between the United States and England, and Faizi talked about how women and girls are treated in Pakistan compared to the rights of women in the U.S.

Both Faizi and Sutcliffe noted that people from Mississippi have generally travelled very little, or none at all.

“I want to encourage you to travel,” said North Englander Sutcliffe. She is originally from Brighouse, West Yorkshire. “Being in a totally different place where you don’t have your family, where you don’t have your mates, it makes you step out of your comfort zone. Going somewhere else can broaden your perspective, and it will really help you develop as a person.”

Both Faizi and Sutcliffe agreed that after having been in several other states in the north and on the west coast, that the people in the South were more hospitable and welcoming than in any other place in the U.S. But Faizi came to the U.S. when she was still in elementary school, and probably at the worst possible time.

Faizi told the story of being a Muslim girl who wore her traditional headscarves to school. For that, she had a much different experience at the beginning of her arrival to the U.S. 9/11 had just happened and so Faizi faced a lot of misunderstanding and was bullied by her classmates in the first school she attended. She said that her parents, finally fed up with the situation, transferred her to a private school and the bullying stopped.

“In fact, the students at my new school were eager to learn about my culture,” Faizi said.