Through this trip, Kiietti’s understanding of Chinese people and culture expanded and grew in complexity and nuance. Reflecting on food, clothing, education, and history Kiietti compared Chinese and U.S. culture. From her childhood as a little girl growing up in rural Georgia, she never thought she would be able to have the opportunities to explore the diversity of our world as she has been able to as an adult.
“I actually began this journey years ago as a little girl who missed diversity and didn’t even know it was missed. Today, I am a grown-up little girl still who marvels at diversity because she sees herself and hers in the very lives of those she knew little about and then only from the media or television. People to people connections are important because through each other, we gather, we garner, we establish strength to persevere, to create, to survive, to thrive, to make beautiful music, creations, and discoveries.”
Confucius Institute at Alabama A&M University
My name is Kiietti Walker-Parker, and I am currently teaching English composition and writing at Alabama A&M University. I am also a writer of fiction and poetry as well. I work with freshman students, those who are just leaving home and embarking on education and professional careers after high school. I love to write and aim to foster that love and the necessity of excellent communication and written skills to my students as well as through my writing. I love history, travel, and meeting new people, and through my writing I aim to bring various communities and their respective histories to those who read or hear my work. Since Spring 2018, I have been invested in learning what I wished I had the opportunity to do when I was little. I believe that we are all intrinsically connected and are dependent on one another for survival and enrichment. We each bring a uniqueness and ingenuity to one another in terms of our own-selves, genders, customs, cultures, communities, nations, continents, and just simple livelihoods to the table to solve problems, enhance the environments in which we live, and enrich the globe. I started learning Chinese in spring 2018 and have been amazed as I was challenged. I am devoted to improving my knowledge of the Chinese language, pronunciation, character writing, and culture and customs. I am finding that the Chinese people are so much more than what my limited and restricted knowledge perceived: food, martial arts, and mystery. I am learning that the Chinese people and I have much in common: hard work, love of family and tradition, and scholarship (calligraphy, studying, art, music, dance, opera, cooking, history, and so much more).