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Is ‘foreign’ a positive or negative word?

Continuing the conversation of Pico Iyer’s insightful debate, we wanted to ask: do you view the word ‘foreign’ positively or negatively? During his Found In Translation Session, the global panel considered the existence and value of ‘foreignness’. For them, it seemed to be something that should be seeked out and cherished but this is not a universal conclusion. For some, this term holds negative connotations or is simply becoming obsolete in a world that is growing homogenously as technology and innovation link people and mix cultures.

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    Jun 28 2013: In the cultural context, 'foreign' is a pretty neutral word, unless we ascribe qualities to it - positive or negative. In a truly global vision nothing will be foreign ultimately. I feel that such sweeping assumption may not be beneficial to human societies.
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    Jun 27 2013: As Pico Iyer's talk has not yet been posted on the site, would you be willing to summarize its key ideas here so that those who were not part of TED Global can have that benefit?

    In answer, though, the connotation of the word "foreign" is context-dependent.

    When people think of "traveling to foreign lands," the connotation is positive. When the veterinarian says there appears to be a foreign object in the dog's stomach, the connotation is negative.
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      Jun 29 2013: Hi Fritzle,

      This conversation is following on from Pico's Found In Translation Session at TEDGlobal 2013, you can watch the session here: http://www.ted.com/pages/partners_skype_iyer.

      Thank you for joining our debate!

      Skype
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        Jun 29 2013: Thank you! I knew the talk itself from TED Global was not yet available and am delighted that the Found in Translation session is available for public viewing.
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    Jul 17 2013: Foreign could be just a feeling not a final conclusion, which
    is unfamiliar can be familiar at the end, based on adjustment. So foreign
    can be means temporary. Its not good or bad / positive or negative, just
    depends on the person how to imply it, understand, based on their way of life.
    Because adjustment is a common thing in alienation. Its
    oxymoron, common things in different way.
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    Jul 4 2013: The word Foreign is linked to the notion of belonging.
    It denotes a sense of alienation and exclusion.
    Draw your own conclusion.
  • Jul 4 2013: neutral
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    Jun 30 2013: In my opinion, 'foreign' must be positive or negative: it depends on many factors. But, what I sincerely think is that, at least, it's a word plenty of interest, promises, mistery and future.