Harrison Owen owen at
Sun Dec 19 06:59:59 PST 1999

At 02:11 PM 12/18/99 -0800, you wrote:
>>Any particular advice for an old but young player ??
>Cultural and religious advice when planning meals, breaks, OS sessions....
>remember that in addition to the predominant ethnic group of Malays
>(Muslims), there are also Chinese (Buddhist, Christian, ancestral worship,
>etc), Indians (Muslim, Hindu, Sikhs, Christian, etc..) -- all of whom have
>differing food restrictions, times for worships, differing levels of comfort
>with both men and women in the same room, etc...
Greatly diverse groups -- language, ethnicity, religion, economics etc --
are the "meat and potatoes" for Open Space. But to make it all work, you
really have to pay attention to keeping the space open, as in seeking a
venue where the needs and desires of the various groups can be met. Holding
a  true multi-cultural gathering in a 100% style western hotel can be

One solution is to look for a site in a diverse neighborhood, or on the
boundaries of several different ethnic communities. When it comes to food,
everybody is on their own -- find what you want, when you want it. A truly
diverse neighborhood can quickly solve what otherwise would be a management

Of course, you might expect that each participating group would then huddle
in its own native place, and I am sure that happens to some extent. But
more often what occurs is that groups form around common passions (issues)
and  eat where the "convener" chooses. And of course, you have different
conveners with different choices.

At the end of the day (meeting) my experience has been that the whole
neighborhood has become an Open Space with connections and interactions
taking place across an incredible range of possibilities. Of course, you
could try and "plan" it all with Multi-Cultural Nights with ethnic menus
and dress. Lots of luck. I always find that sort of stuff to be pretty
strained, and miles away from the "real thing" -- which could (with
forethought) exist just outside the hotel door. And being essentially lazy
-- I just can't bear working that hard to create something that already
exists. Especially when I know that my creation will inevitably be a pale
reflection of the true diversity of life.



More information about the OSList mailing list