Difference is a metric used by humans to rate dissimilarities. Different is an adjective used by certain societal beings to highlight the other’s dissimilarities. People are afraid of the unknown; and the unknown is whatever is different from us.
Tunisia is a multicultural country, due to the great amount of civilizations that its land had witnessed. However, despite this pluralism, Tunisia is mostly influenced by the Arab-Muslim culture where collectivism is the watchword, and a different behavior than the normative one is the synonym of sacrilegious and inappropriate social behavior.
When one experiences the impacts of the generation gap that is being empowered by the velocity of globalization, being different is still a challenge to overcome in the Arab world.
Tunisia can be considered a different specimen than most Muslim-Arab dominated countries. Its youth are facing many struggles due to being different:
Having a piercing on the face, being in a strictly friendship type of a relationship with someone from the opposite sex, being an independent woman refusing to be the hand of patriarchy and imposed gender roles, being a boy with tinted hair, etc.
I believe that generation Y is dominated by people who suffer from a lack of difference acceptance: we live in a zone of utter incoherence that falls between our predecessor’s way of living, and the digital native’s mindset. A reality that has turned us into a chimera.
While trying to look into the topic, a few questions might cross one’s mind: Is this chimera the neonate of the Arab-Muslim culture? Globalization? Or simply the out-turn of the human nature fearing the unknown?
Our resemblance is in our difference
One thing I am sure of: Our resemblance is in our difference. We are all different; hence, we are all alike. This is a crucial thought that we need to keep in mind in order to tackle our constant unwillingness of accepting that no one human being is a hundred percent identical to another. After all, the essence of a human being is in the set of feelings, values, memories, and traumas that they live and experience.
A world where everyone is the same copy of each other is simply a dystopia! Life in it would be morose and unbearable. By the end of the day, survival is a human’s strongest instinct, and in order for humans to survive and coexist in a common space, both their resemblances and differences need to be equally highlighted.
Article written by Yassine Bouallegue- A master’s student- at Esprit School of Business- who is specialized in information system management. He is also the co-founder and vice president of ESB Junior Entreprise.