Last weekend was this year’s final F1 Grand Prix. It took place at the beautiful Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates. We were there, gloriously clothed in our beautiful Lewis Hamilton Mercedes branded tshirts and caps.
Overall, it was an exciting experience. In addition to the race, we got a chance to explore some of the Arab culture. We watched the Arab men dressed in their white thawbs or dishdashas perform some of their gentle traditional dances with drummers drumming, the piper piping (previously, I thought piping was a strictly Scottish thing) as men delicately twisted thin sticks in between their fingers. I had a guy write my name in beautiful Arabic calligraphy. We ate ghamat and tried out chai karak tea, the popular drink that has spread in the region and we engaged with the various other cultural items and activities on display.
I also had the opportunity to try out hand painting with henna, something I didn’t think would look good on my beautiful black fingers and hands. Three days later, the henna is still pretty, a gentle reminder that the world is beautiful if we open our minds and our hearts to other people’s stories and cultures. A reminder that life is even more beautiful when we challenge our stereotypes and question our biases about things, other people, their cultures and their ways of life.